Why Virginia hayrides remain unregulated

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- There are no laws on the books in Virginia regulating hayrides and a quick Google search shows a number of accidents involving hayrides in other states, but Aaron Goode with Chesterfield Berry Farm said he has taken extra precautions to make sure his rides are safe.

"We do a lot of school tours and they like for it to be safe," Goode said.

Goode's customers take hayrides to pick pumpkins.

He said metal bars on the ride are an important part of keeping people safe.

"It's not enough room for a child to get through there so we don't really have to worry about them falling off," Goode said.

Goode also said having a tractor large enough to handle a lot of weight in the wagon is also important.

"That is where some people get in trouble. They have a wagon that's pretty good size and they don't have a heavy enough tow vehicle or tractor and it will actually push the tractor and on hilly ground you can't stop," Goode said.

Kathy Dixon with The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation said farms in this area have safe hayrides.

"Honestly, I've never heard of any of our farmers having any issues with their hayrides," Dixon said.

The organization insures many farms in the area who do agrotourism activities like hayrides.

Dixon said they wouldn't insure anyone who wasn't operating the hayrides safely, and their agents advise farmers on what to do to make them safe, which includes how to design a safe route.

"Make sure it's clear of obstacles you want to check to make sure there's no potholes," Dixon said.