Slow Down to Get Around becomes law in Iowa
- Governor Terry Branstad signed bill HF314 into law on April 20, making Iowa the latest state to enact Slow Down to Get Around.
- Like similar legislation, this was championed by the state's National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) chapter and will designate collection trucks as "utility maintenance vehices." This means that motorists will be required to slow down or drive cautiously around vehicles while their safety lights are flashing, as they would for buses, mail trucks or construction sites.
- This will be the 14th such law in the country once it is enacted on July 1.
This is the latest Slow Down to Get Around law to be passed in what has become an increasingly common trend. Similar laws were recently signed in Kentucky and New York, and are also progressing in Connecticut and New Jersey.
The push for vehicular safety is part of a larger industry effort to remove waste collection from the list of most dangerous occupations. Research has shown that motorists have some of the least patience with collection vehicles than any others they encounter on the streets and this can lead to unnecessary injuries or even fatalities among workers. NWRA, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), companies and municipalities have also been actively working to raise awareness among the public to stop this from happening.
As recognized on April 28 by the National Day of Mourning in Canada and Workers' Memorial Day in the U.S., workplace fatality rates are still all too common. The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data recorded 33 refuse and recyclable material collector fatalities in 2015.
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