Restraints are used to prevent riders from standing up or from falling out of a roller coaster car while it is in motion. Almost all modern roller coasters have some form of restraints. Small roller coasters typically use less restrictive restraints such as lap-bars, seatbelts, or both, while larger roller coasters with more extreme forces or inversions tend to use over-the-shoulder restraints or tightly-fitting lap-bars.
The first roller coasters had no restraints, but were tame in comparison to modern rides. The invention of the lap-bar allowed faster roller coasters with more extreme forces to be built.
Restraints on a train are typically locked all at once by a bar between the rails in the station, which is lowered. They are subsequently released when the bar is raised at the end of the ride. On looping coasters from Arrow Dynamics, each car's restraints are unlocked by a foot pedal located on the side of the car. Usually, each individual restraint or each car has a manual override which is used to release the restraints in the event of an evacuation. On some roller coasters, the restraints are locked and released with electrical power transferred to the train through contacts in the station. To manually release this type of restraint, a battery box is connected to the car to supply power.
- Lap bar
- Over-the-shoulder harness
- Seat belt (often used in conjunction with another restraint)
- Vest harness