- Last month, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed a "Slow Down to Get Around" law (HB 144) to help protect collection workers in the state, according to a National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) press statement.
- The law defines solid waste collection trucks as service vehicles. It requires drivers to yield to the vehicles, as well as employees working on them, when their lights are flashing and collections are occurring.
- The Kentucky State Chapter of NWRA was active in developing the legislation and testifying on its behalf. Both of the state's legislative branches passed it unanimously.
This is the latest successful Slow Down law passed as part of an ongoing industry campaign supported by the NWRA and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). Kentucky is the 13th state to pass such a law, joining Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. Similar legislation has also been introduced in Connecticut.
According to NWRA's Kentucky chapter, about 5,000 people are employed by the waste and recycling industry in the state. The passage of this law, and resulting attention to it, is intended to help reduce the risk for the collection workers among them.
As the industry works to get waste collection off the list of most dangerous occupations, vehicular safety is a main focus. SWANA estimates that about 2,000 accidents last year required collection vehicles to be towed from the scene and the potential for injuries or fatalities for the workers involved remains high.