CHAPTER 538a
PASSENGER TRAMWAYS

Table of Contents

Sec. 29-201. (Formerly Sec. 19-418a). Definitions.
Sec. 29-202. (Formerly Sec. 19-418b). Requirements for passenger tramways in use.
Sec. 29-203. (Formerly Sec. 19-418c). Regulations, standards.
Sec. 29-204. (Formerly Sec. 19-418d). Plans and specifications, submission, fee. Approval. Final inspection.
Sec. 29-205. (Formerly Sec. 19-418e). Registration of each passenger tramway required.
Sec. 29-206. (Formerly Sec. 19-418f). Operating certificate, inspections, fees.
Sec. 29-207. (Formerly Sec. 19-418g). Order to discontinue operation. Permission for resumption.
Sec. 29-208. (Formerly Sec. 19-418h). Complaints.
Sec. 29-209. (Formerly Sec. 19-418i). Judicial review of commissioner's decisions.
Sec. 29-210. (Formerly Sec. 19-418j). Penalties.
Sec. 29-211. (Formerly Sec. 19-418k). Duties of operator of passenger tramway or ski area.
Sec. 29-212. (Formerly Sec. 19-418l). Assumption of risk of injury caused by hazards inherent in the sport of skiing.
Sec. 29-213. (Formerly Sec. 19-418m). Prohibited conduct by skiers.
Sec. 29-214. (Formerly Sec. 19-418n). Special defense to civil action against operator by skier.
Secs. 29-215 to 29-220.

      Sec. 29-201. (Formerly Sec. 19-418a). Definitions. As used in this chapter unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

      (a) "Passenger tramway" means a device used to transport passengers in cars on tracks or suspended in the air, or uphill on skis, by the use of steel cables, chains or belts or by ropes, and usually supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, but shall not include any such device not available for public use and not subject to a fee for use of same. The term passenger tramway shall include the following: (1) Two-car aerial passenger tramways, which are devices used to transport passengers in two open or enclosed cars attached to, and suspended from, a moving wire rope, or attached to a moving wire rope and supported on a standing wire rope, or similar devices; (2) multicar aerial passenger tramways, which are devices used to transport passengers in several open or enclosed cars attached to, and suspended from, a moving wire rope, or attached to a moving wire rope and supported on a standing wire rope, or similar devices; (3) skimobiles, which are devices in which a passenger car running on steel or wooden tracks is attached to and pulled by a steel cable, or similar devices; (4) chair lifts, which are devices which carry passengers on chairs suspended in the air and attached to a moving cable, chain or link belt supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, or similar devices; (5) J bars, T bars, platter pulls and similar types of devices, which are means of transportation that pull skiers riding on skis by means of an attachment to a main overhead cable supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans; (6) rope tows, which are devices that pull the skiers riding on skis as the skier grasps the rope manually, or similar devices.

      (b) "Operator" means a person who owns or controls the operation of a passenger tramway or ski area. An operator of a passenger tramway shall be deemed not to be operating a common carrier.

      (c) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.

      (d) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Safety.

      (e) "Skier" shall include the following: (1) A person utilizing the ski area under control of the operator for the purpose of skiing, whether or not he is utilizing a passenger tramway; (2) a person utilizing the passenger tramway whether or not that person is a skier, including riders on a passenger tramway operating during the nonskiing season.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 1; P.A. 77-614, S. 514, 610; P.A. 79-629, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 replaced labor department and commissioner with department and commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-629 included as operators persons owning or controlling operation of ski areas; Sec. 19-418a transferred to Sec. 29-201 in 1983.

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      Sec. 29-202. (Formerly Sec. 19-418b). Requirements for passenger tramways in use. Each passenger tramway used or intended for use in this state shall be constructed, equipped, maintained and operated so as to transport passengers safely according to the provisions of this chapter and the regulations of the commissioner enacted hereunder.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 2.)

      History: Sec. 19-418b transferred to Sec. 29-202 in 1983.

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      Sec. 29-203. (Formerly Sec. 19-418c). Regulations, standards. The commissioner shall adopt reasonable regulations relating to public safety in the construction, operation, maintenance and inspection of passenger tramways. The regulations authorized hereunder shall conform as nearly as practicable to established standards, if any, and shall not be discriminatory in their application to operators. Such regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with chapter 54, and shall in no way reduce or diminish the standard of care imposed upon passenger tramway operators under existing law.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 3.)

      History: Sec. 19-418c transferred to Sec. 29-203 in 1983.

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      Sec. 29-204. (Formerly Sec. 19-418d). Plans and specifications, submission, fee. Approval. Final inspection. No new passenger tramway shall be erected or installed and no passenger tramway shall be relocated or altered until detailed plans and specifications of the proposed construction or other work have been submitted in duplicate to the department for approval. A fee of two hundred dollars payable to the Department of Public Safety shall accompany each such proposal. Notice that such plans are approved or disapproved shall be given within a reasonable time, and final inspection of the passenger tramway, when installed, relocated or altered, shall be made before final approval for operating is given by the department.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 4; P.A. 80-297, S. 7, 20; P.A. 85-560, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-1, S. 146.)

      History: P.A. 80-297 imposed $10 fee for proposals; Sec. 19-418d transferred to Sec. 29-204 in 1983; P.A. 85-560 increased fee accompanying construction plans from $10 to $100; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-1 increased fee from $100 to $200, effective July 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 29-205. (Formerly Sec. 19-418e). Registration of each passenger tramway required. The operator of each passenger tramway covered by this chapter shall register with the department each passenger tramway operated by him, giving such information concerning such tramway as the commissioner may require. Such registration shall be made on a form to be furnished by the department.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 5.)

      History: Sec. 19-418e transferred to Sec. 29-205 in 1983.

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      Sec. 29-206. (Formerly Sec. 19-418f). Operating certificate, inspections, fees. The department shall enforce the regulations adopted pursuant to section 29-203, and shall inspect the construction, operation and maintenance of passenger tramways to determine whether such regulations have been complied with by the operators. Each passenger tramway shall be thoroughly inspected by a qualified inspector approved by the department at least once every twelve months. More frequent inspections of any passenger tramway may be made if the condition thereof indicates that additional inspections are necessary or desirable. As soon as the department inspects and approves any passenger tramway as being fit for operation, it shall issue to the operator, upon receipt of a fee of two hundred dollars, a certificate of operation with such conditions and limitations as the commissioner shall prescribe. Such certificate shall be valid for twelve months and shall be renewed yearly, if the department approves the passenger tramway, upon payment of a renewal fee of one hundred dollars. No passenger tramway may be operated without such operating certificate.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 6, 8; P.A. 80-297, S. 8, 20; P.A. 85-560, S. 4; P.A. 89-163; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 63, 117; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-1, S. 147.)

      History: P.A. 80-297 increased fee for first certificate from $15 to $25 and for renewal from $10 to $20; Sec. 19-418f transferred to Sec. 29-206 in 1983; P.A. 85-560 amended Subsec. (a), increasing fees for the initial issuance of certificates of operation from $25 to $100 and for renewal certificates from $20 to $40; P.A. 89-163 deleted Subsec. (b) re payment of expenses of department in making inspections and requiring operator to reimburse department for expenses of inspection; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6 increased the fee for certificate of operation from $100 to $150 and the renewal fee from $40 to $80; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-1 increased initial fee from $150 to $200 and increased renewal fee from $80 to $100, effective July 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 29-207. (Formerly Sec. 19-418g). Order to discontinue operation. Permission for resumption. If any passenger tramway is found to be, in the judgment of the department, dangerous to public safety or is being operated without the operating certificate required in section 29-204 or is being operated in violation of any regulation adopted under this chapter, the department may require the operator of such passenger tramway to discontinue its operation forthwith. When a passenger tramway has been placed out of service pursuant to this section, the operator of such tramway shall not again operate such tramway until repairs have been made, an operating certificate has been obtained, or the violation is discontinued and permission given by the commissioner or his authorized agent to resume operation of such tramway.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 7.)

      History: Sec. 19-418g transferred to Sec. 29-207 in 1983.

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      Sec. 29-208. (Formerly Sec. 19-418h). Complaints. Any person may make a written complaint to the commissioner setting forth any alleged violation of this chapter or of any regulation promulgated under the authority of this chapter, or setting forth any condition in a passenger tramway which is alleged to endanger the safety of the public.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 9.)

      History: Sec. 19-418h transferred to Sec. 29-208 in 1983.

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      Sec. 29-209. (Formerly Sec. 19-418i). Judicial review of commissioner's decisions. Any person aggrieved by any decision or order of the commissioner or department under the provisions of this chapter may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183, except venue for such appeal shall be in the judicial district wherein such passenger tramway is situated.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 10; P.A. 74-183, S. 171, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 151, 681; P.A. 77-603, S. 55, 125; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127.)

      History: P.A. 74-183 replaced superior court with court of common pleas, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-603 replaced provision for petition for review to court with provision for appeals in accordance with Sec. 4-183; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; Sec. 19-418i transferred to Sec. 29-209 in 1983.

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      Sec. 29-210. (Formerly Sec. 19-418j). Penalties. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any of the regulations adopted hereunder shall, for the first offense, be fined not less than twenty-five dollars or more than one hundred dollars, and for each subsequent offense, shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

      (P.A. 73-422, S. 11; P.A. 07-217, S. 136.)

      History: Sec. 19-418j transferred to Sec. 29-210 in 1983; P.A. 07-217 made a technical change, effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 29-211. (Formerly Sec. 19-418k). Duties of operator of passenger tramway or ski area. In the operation of a passenger tramway or ski area, each operator shall have the obligation to perform certain duties including, but not limited to: (1) Conspicuously marking all trail maintenance vehicles and furnishing the vehicles with flashing or rotating lights which shall be operated whenever the vehicles are working or moving within the skiing area; (2) conspicuously marking the location of any hydrant or similar device used in snow-making operations and placed on a trail or slope; (3) conspicuously marking the entrance to each trail or slope with a symbol, adopted or approved by the National Ski Areas Association, which identifies the relative degree of difficulty of such trail or slope or warns that such trail or slope is closed; (4) conspicuously marking any lift tower that is located on a trail or slope and is not readily visible; (5) maintaining one or more trail boards, at prominent locations within the ski area, displaying such area's network of ski trails and slopes, designating each trail or slope in the same manner as provided in subdivision (3) of this section and notifying each skier that the wearing of ski retention straps or other devices used to prevent runaway skis is required by this section, section 29-201 and sections 29-212 to 29-213, inclusive; (6) in the event maintenance personnel or equipment are being employed on any trail or slope during the hours at which such trail or slope is open to the public, conspicuously posting notice thereof at the entrance to such trail or slope; and (7) conspicuously marking trail or slope intersections.

      (P.A. 79-629, S. 2; P.A. 05-78, S. 1.)

      History: Sec. 19-418k transferred to Sec. 29-211 in 1983; P.A. 05-78 replaced "marking all lift towers within the confines of any trail or slope" with "marking any lift tower that is located on a trail or slope and is not readily visible" in Subdiv. (4) and made technical changes in Subdivs. (5) and (6).

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      Sec. 29-212. (Formerly Sec. 19-418l). Assumption of risk of injury caused by hazards inherent in the sport of skiing. (a) For the purposes of this section:

      (1) "Skier" includes any person who is using a ski area for the purpose of skiing or who is on the skiable terrain of a ski area as a spectator or otherwise, but does not include (A) any person using a snow tube provided by a ski area operator, and (B) any person who is a spectator while in a designated spectator area during any event;

      (2) "Skiing" means sliding downhill or jumping on snow or ice using skis, a snowboard, snow blades, a snowbike, a sit-ski or any other device that is controllable by its edges on snow or ice or is for the purpose of utilizing any skiable terrain, but does not include snow tubing operations provided by a ski area operator; and

      (3) "Ski area operator" means a person who owns or controls the operation of a ski area and such person's agents and employees.

      (b) Each skier shall assume the risk of and legal responsibility for any injury to his or her person or property caused by the hazards inherent in the sport of skiing. Such hazards include, but are not limited to: (1) Variations in the terrain of the trail or slope which is marked in accordance with subdivision (3) of section 29-211 or variations in surface or subsurface snow or ice conditions, except that no skier assumes the risk of variations which are caused by the ski area operator unless such variations are caused by snow making, snow grooming or rescue operations; (2) bare spots which do not require the closing of the trail or slope; (3) conspicuously placed or, if not so placed, conspicuously marked lift towers; (4) trees or other objects not within the confines of the trail or slope; (5) loading, unloading or otherwise using a passenger tramway without prior knowledge of proper loading and unloading procedures or without reading instructions concerning loading and unloading posted at the base of such passenger tramway or without asking for such instructions; and (6) collisions with any other person by any skier while skiing, except that collisions with on-duty employees of the ski area operator who are skiing and are within the scope of their employment at the time of the collision shall not be a hazard inherent in the sport of skiing.

      (c) The provisions of this section shall not apply in any case in which it is determined that a claimant's injury was not caused by a hazard inherent in the sport of skiing.

      (P.A. 79-629, S. 3; P.A. 05-78, S. 2.)

      History: Sec. 19-418l transferred to Sec. 29-212 in 1983; P.A. 05-78 added Subsec. (a) defining "skier", "skiing" and "ski area operator", designated existing provisions as Subsec. (b) and amended same by making technical changes, replacing "arising out of the hazards" with "caused by the hazards", deleting provision re proximate cause of injury, adding "conspicuously placed, or, if not so placed," in Subdiv. (3), replacing "boarding" with "loading, unloading or otherwise using" in Subdiv. (5) and adding exception re collisions with on-duty employees of ski area operator in Subdiv. (6), and added Subsec. (c) re exception when determined that claimant's injury was not caused by hazard inherent in sport of skiing.

      Phrase "operation of the ski area by the ski area operator" includes not merely the duties enumerated in Sec. 29-211 but also those services offered by a ski area operator as components of its business activities, regardless of whether the services are statutorily or otherwise required; plaintiff may maintain action against ski area operator for injury suffered from collision with employee of operator because negligence of an employee or agent of a ski area operator is not an inherent hazard of the sport of skiing. 269 C. 672.

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      Sec. 29-213. (Formerly Sec. 19-418m). Prohibited conduct by skiers. No skier shall: (1) Intentionally drop, throw or expel any object from a passenger tramway; (2) do any act which shall interfere with the running or operation of a passenger tramway; (3) use a passenger tramway without the permission of the operator; (4) place any object in the skiing area or on the uphill track of a passenger tramway which may cause a skier to fall; (5) cross the track of a J bar lift, T bar lift, platter pull or similar device or a rope tow, except at a designated location; (6) depart from the scene of a skiing accident when involved in the accident without leaving personal identification, including name and address, or before notifying the proper authorities and obtaining assistance when such skier knows that any other skier involved in the accident is in need of medical or other assistance; (7) fail to wear retention straps or other devices used to prevent runaway skis.

      (P.A. 79-629, S. 4.)

      History: Sec. 19-418m transferred to Sec. 29-213 in 1983.

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      Sec. 29-214. (Formerly Sec. 19-418n). Special defense to civil action against operator by skier. Section 29-214 is repealed, effective October 1, 2005.

      (P.A. 79-629, S. 5; P.A. 05-78, S. 3.)

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      Secs. 29-215 to 29-220. Reserved for future use.

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