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FL Commissioner Nikki Fried Unveils Legislative Framework to Strengthen Ride Safety
FL Commissioner Nikki Fried Unveils Legislative Framework to Strengthen Ride Safety
July 20, 2022 - Tallahassee FL
Today, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried unveiled a draft framework for legislation to improve ride and rider safety in response to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' (FDACS) ongoing investigation into the tragic death of Tyre Sampson in Orlando earlier this year. Commissioner Fried discussed the framework today during a virtual press conference, where she was joined by State Senator Randolph Bracey and State Representative Geraldine Thompson, who both represent the Orlando area in the Florida Legislature. Video of the press conference is available here.

“When accidents occur, often it's because many small issues happen at the same time to create a perfect storm. Our goal here was to identify the issues that caused that perfect storm in Tyre's case and work to prevent them from occurring again,” Commissioner Fried said. “This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue – this is a safety issue, and as leaders we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that these rides are safe for the people of Florida.”

“I think it's important that we address this matter legislatively as soon as possible,” said State Senator Randolph Bracey. “It's a horrible tragedy. I also think we should name this bill in honor of Tyre Sampson, to honor his memory, but also so we have a reminder that this should never happen again.”

“We can't afford to just move along with business as usual when we know there has been a terrible tragedy,” said State Representative Geraldine Thompson.

The draft legislative framework covers seven areas of ride safety: signage, training, maintenance, ride commissioning and certification, restraints and safety systems, accident notifications, and the Amusement Ride Monitoring Program. FDACS will continue to incorporate additional proposals into the draft framework as the investigation progresses and once it is complete.

Commissioner Fried has made it a priority for FDACS to conduct a complete and thorough investigation into the Drop Tower incident. In June, she joined a conversation in Orlando with community members to discuss next steps after the accident, and she has held multiple press conferences to provide updates to the media as the investigation continues.

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