State orders 'unsafe' carnival rides in Sterling Heights mall to close
Sterling Heights — State officials are ordering an indoor amusement park at a Sterling Heights mall to cease operations, citing hazardous and unsafe rides.
Michigan's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has issued a cease and desist order against Jeepers inside Lakeside Mall Friday, saying it had multiple violations of Michigan's Carnival-Amusement Safety Act.
The rides cited include Banana Squadron, JJ’s Driving School, Python Pit and Yak Attack, all inside the store-sized park located at the mall at 14600 Lakeside Circle.
The order prohibits Jeepers from operating the rides until the violations are corrected to meet the legal rules and standards.
The department found safety violations during Jeepers' annual inspection, including:
- Missing parts including a brake fin, body latches, seat latches, rollback levers, keys in pins connecting cars.
- Cracks in equipment including at a jack stand.
- Leaking hydraulic line or cylinder.
- Unsafe lap bars, body latches and seat latches.
- Dysfunctional operator controls, track joints, motor covers.
- Failure to properly inspect and document daily inspections of rides.
"Carnival rides in Michigan are held to the highest safety standards to keep riders safe," said Keith Lambert, director of LARA's Bureau of Construction Codes. "LARA inspects permitted amusement rides annually; however, ride operators are required to conduct daily inspections before operation according to manufacturer criteria, national standards, and state law."
The bureau said Jeepers was informed that the matter was referred to local police, fire authorities and the prosecutor's office for review and possible action.