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Fair ride operators texting on the job

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (Sept. 1, 2014) – It’s no secret that texting and driving is very dangerous, and it’s even illegal in most states.

But what about fair ride operators texting on the job?

KARE11 investigated numerous incidents of this at the Minnesota State Fair after complaints by attendees.

More than one worker was caught texting and interacting with a mobile device while on the clock.

“I think that’s terrible. I would be pretty upset if my kids are on that ride,” said one mother.

KARE11 spoke with another fairgoer who agreed: “He’s not paying attention. What if a seat belt wasn’t buckled right or something wasn’t going right? It happens!”

Safety inspectors say this is a problem, but if a worker is an attendant and not an operator it’s technically okay.

“He is in a position where he would be authorized to use that, he is off the deck and away from the ride, he’s not in control,” said Ride Safety Inspector Joe Bixler.

All of the rides and games at the Minnesota State Fair are owned by private contractors.

Fair Management said if they discover a contractor not paying attention to safety they’ll consider not inviting that business back next year.