Today, the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) was pleased to announce its support for a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Michael Harris, MPP for Kitchener- Contestoga, which amends the Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act to provide better protections to front line workers collecting waste and recyclables at the curb.
Like many other workers who operate on busy roads, waste / recycling collection workers are at risk from distracted and careless drivers. While statistics are not available on injuries and fatalities in these circumstances, there have been many high profile incidents across North America.
“This legislation, which would require vehicles to slow down and move over for waste / recycling collection vehicles collecting curbside materials, is long overdue,” said Rob Cook, CEO of the OWMA.
“These are similar to protections that are afforded to our workers in other jurisdictions across North America.”
Many jurisdictions especially in the United States have moved forward with legislation to provide additional protections for waste / recycling collection workers. Alabama, Florida, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina have all passed slow down and move over legislation and legislation is also moving forward in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Here in Canada, British Columbia has recently changed its’ legislation to make it safer for all roadside workers including waste /recycling collection vehicles.
Even in Ontario, legislation was passed recently to provide similar protections for other workers including yield right of way for transit buses; reduced speeds in construction zones and increased fines; and requirements to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks.
“We hope all political parties can support the quick adoption of this important legislation,” said Cook.
About The Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA)
The Ontario Waste Management Association, founded in 1977, speaks for nearly 300 private and public sector members who provide the products and services for a better environment. Our business is to protect the environment through the proper management of waste and recyclable materials.
Learn more about the Ontario Waste Management Association.