RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - After trying for several years, Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) has gathered enough support for his bill to regulate the “aerial adventure” industry in North Carolina, which includes zip lines and ropes courses.
House Bill 380 , which passed the state House on Monday by a vote of 70-46, is also called “Sanders’ Law”. It’s named after Rep. Davis’ cousin Sanders Burney, of Wilmington. died at a YMCA camp in 2015 when she fell from a zip line. Burney was tethered in, but the line became tangled with another line.
Davis proposed Sanders' Law in each of the past two sessions of the General Assembly, but this is the first time the bill has made it to the House floor for a vote. The bill would mandate annual inspections of zip line courses and equipment, implement state standards for operator training and require companies to report accidents. The bill also suggests criminal penalties for those who don't follow proposed regulations.
“The passing of this legislation means so much to me because if it is subsequently signed into law, a presently unregulated zip line business will now be regulated and we will have Department of Labor oversight to make these operations as safe as possible so that incidents resulting in death or serious injuries will hopefully not occur,” Rep. Davis said.
The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.