Group recommends Maine to create new agency to regulate motorized farm attractions
Maine currently lacks the ability to regulate motorized farm attractions and it would have to form a new agency to do so, a safety task force created in response to a 2014 fatal hayride accident said.
The Hayride Safety Stakeholders Group examined existing system and found that the Maine State Police and the state Fire Marshal’s Office don’t have the manpower and resources required to regulate motorized farm attractions.
In its newly published report, the group said, “The stakeholders group agreed that at the current time there is very little that can be done to regulate motorized farm rides … some sort of safety guidelines can be made available for those wishing to have such rides for the public.”
Fire Marshal Joseph Thomas, the co-chair of the group, said that the state would have to form an oversight agency that would be responsible for identifying privately owned farm attractions that offer rides. The agency would inspect vehicles and issue permits to such operations.
The task force was formed via a legislative resolve in response to the deadly hayride crash that killed 17-year-old Cassidy Charette of Oakland on October 11, 2014. The crash occurred at Mechanic Falls-based Harvest Hill Farms also injured 22 other people.
The victim’s mother, Monica Charette, said in a statement that she was pleased that the group’s report brought vital awareness to the potential dangers of ostensibly harmless activities where safety must be a reasonable expectation.
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