UPDATE: The Solid Waste Association of North America announced today that it will begin distributing free "Slow Down to Get Around" decals to its members this week, upon request.
"We encourage local governments and haulers to get decals from SWANA to help spread the word about this important worker safety campaign," said SWANA CEO David Biderman in a press release.
SWANA will continue its efforts to promote the "Slow Down to Get Around" initiative through 2016, while also promoting other safety efforts such as workshops, webinars, and the chapter-based Safety Ambassador initiative.
- The Solid Waste Association of North America has announced that it will distribute "Slow Down To Get Around" decals to its members (upon request) at no charge in early 2016.
- Lytx is the official sponsor of the decal program. Lytx is best known for its DriveCam safety program, and provides other innovative technologies and insights to keep drivers safe.
- SWANA continues to expand its safety programming. In addition to the decals, it will offer safety training workshops and webinars in 2016.
A 2014 poll commissioned by the NWRA found that nearly 40% of Americans are tempted to speed around garbage trucks on the road each week. Through the Slow Down to Get Around law, the decals, and the overall safety mindset that SWANA and NWRA are encouraging for their members, this statistic can potentially be lowered while keeping more waste employees safe on the job.
"It's about helping motorists think of garbage trucks like they're school buses," SWANA CEO David Biderman told Waste Dive. "Every time you drive near a school bus and it stops and the red light goes on, you think 'Oh, I've got to stop, there's a kid around.' We want people to treat garbage trucks the same way because there's a guy around. Somebody's father or somebody's son or somebody's husband."
A Slow Down to Get Around law has so far been implemented in nine states, including Indiana, Florida, and Virginia. The law mandates that drivers change lanes or slow down to at least 10 mph below the speed limit when passing a sanitation truck, or face a fine of up to $500.
Biderman says, however, that the decals will be distributed to members in any states — not just the ones that have the law.
"It's great to get states to pass laws that increase the penalties, but it's more important to get people's behavior to change around garbage trucks," he said.