NC State Fair rides under higher scrutiny

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- In just two days the North Carolina State Fair opens, and inspections are underway to make sure all those rides are safe for your family.

Scrutiny on the rides and the operators is higher after several people were injured in an incident two years ago at the fairgrounds.

Before thrill ride fans hop aboard any of the over 90 rides on Thursday, inspectors are checking them all out to make sure they are safe.

"We're looking for any worn parts that need to be replaced, by chance any parts that may be missing, screws, bolts, fasteners," Bill Essick with the North Department of Labor said.

Walking around with Essick, he explained to ABC11 why one ride needed a closer look by inspectors.

"These are wrong right here as well," he said. "This needs to get buttoned in. This may be temporary but we won't know until we ask them. We'll go ahead and talk to them about it.

RELATED: North Carolina State Fair ride operator pleads guilty in 2013 accident

It is not just the obvious big thrill rides that must pass muster. Kiddie rides, too, have to be 100 percent safe, certified by inspectors.

And as Bart Evans with the North Carolina Department of Labor showed us, the inspectors scrutinize places like ride entrance gates, foot pedal controls, and other places most people don't notice.

"Check the belts on the motor, again," he said. "Just anything that could put the public in danger, we want to make sure everything is working just like the manufacturer designed it."

All rides are marked with a sticker to let fair-goers know they will have a safe experience.

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