North Texas woman pushes for plus-sized amusement ride safety

A North Texas woman wants a new law in Texas passed that she believes would make amusement parks safer for large people.

Jessica Shaw remembers her experience on a State Fair of Texas ride back in 2014.

"It was too tight and I couldn't breathe the entire ride,” she said as she recalled riding on the ‘Rock It’ ride that swung back and forth and made a complete loop in the air. “I thought I was going to fall out. I just knew that thing was going to come open and I was going to fall out.”

Shaw said she found out the hard way she was too large to fit safely in the seat. She initially agreed to get on the ride because her teenage son, Dalton, urged her to experience it with him.

"When I got on the ride and the harness came down, I knew it wasn't going to fit,” remembered Shaw. "He said, ‘Oh no, no. Just suck it in.’ When he finally got it latched, I couldn't breathe. It took all the air from me."  

After two minutes, the spinning stopped. But Shaw says her pain continues to this day, noting her doctors now consider her ‘medically disabled.'

"I had two slipped discs in my neck,” she said. “I had a torn rotator cuff and nerve damage.”

Now, Shaw is lobbying for a new state law that would require test seats at certain rides be made available to better ensure the safety of plus-sized people.

State Senator Bob Hall has acknowledged her request and is considering a proposal.

“I said, 'test seating would've been perfect for this situation because people would have the opportunity to test their body size before ever attempting to get in the line for the ride,’” Shaw explained.

Senator Hall’s office said they are looking at the current laws that regulate park rides before making a decision.

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