- The New York state legislature has passed "Slow Down to Get Around" — an amendment to the existing "Move Over Law" — in an effort to increase the safety of collection workers.
- The law would classify trucks as "hazard vehicles" when collecting waste on public roads. This means drivers would be required to change lanes or slow down when passing the vehicles, as is already required for police and fire vehicles.
- Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill and it could take effect starting in November.
According to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, this law was inspired by the death of a Taylor Garbage Services employee in Tioga County. The man was struck by a motorist while unloading a bin in Apalachin, NY last year. The company met with elected officials after the incident to discuss possible legislation and the bill was passed unanimously this year.
"This is a great example of how the industry benefits when the public and private sectors collaborate on safety issues," said SWANA CEO David Biderman in an email.
Slow Down to Get Around already exists in 11 states: Virginia, Indiana, West Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Illinois. This law has become a trend within the last decade in response to distracted driving that has led to sometimes fatal incidents for collection workers.
SWANA and NWRA have both been supportive of these laws as part of an ongoing effort to make the industry safer. Waste collection remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the country and working conditions have been under increased scrutiny.