I hate seeing these types of headlines: “Solid Waste Employee Hit and Killed by Car,” “Sanitation Worker, Garbage Truck Struck by Pickup Truck in Orange,” and “All Waste Inc. Employee Struck by Car in Avon.” These headlines are from just the last 12 months. They are the reason why the National Waste & Recylcing Association (NWRA) recently announced its support of legislation to increase awareness of “Move Over” laws.
In a press release the NWRA says:
The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) announces its support for, the Protect First Responders Act, legislation introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) aimed at reducing roadside deaths and establishing a public safety program to raise awareness of “Move Over” laws.
“We commend Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Bustos for taking strong action to reduce roadside deaths and educate the motoring public about “Move Over” laws. The laws that exist in every state need to be expanded and consistent so that every driver knows they need to slow down and go around emergency vehicles, service vehicles, and waste and recycling vehicles. NWRA looks forward to working with the Senator and Congresswoman on this important, non-partisan legislation,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.
Despite having these laws, unfortunately first responders, tow truck operators, and waste collection workers continue to be killed as they conduct business. All 50 states with the exception of the District of Columbia have protections in place for emergency personnel and only 30 states have laws that include waste and recycling workers.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has had in place for quite some time its “Slow Down to Get Around” campaign.
On the SWANA website, it’s described as “A national safety campaign that reminds motorists to drive more carefully when near waste and recycling collection vehicles. Being struck by a motorist is a leading cause of death for waste and recycling collection employees, and with proper awareness, is completely preventable.
Slow Down to Get Around is also the name commonly applied to legislation that requires motorists to slow down or move over when passing waste and recycling vehicles that are in the process of collection. Since the start of the campaign, at least twenty states have enacted some type of SDTGA law to help protect solid waste workers out on the job.”
Please help spread the word to “Slow Down to Get Around” and “Move Over.” Lives depend on it.