Waste and recycling workers in Florida can breathe a little easier now that the state has passed legislation aimed at protecting vulnerable curbside workers from being struck by vehicles as they work.
House Bill 7005, an omnibus transportation bill, was signed June 20, 2014 by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The Bill includes a section that adds sanitation and utility vehicles to the Move Over Act. This means that when a vehicle approaches a curbside sanitation worker and a waste vehicle, the approaching driver must move over one lane. If that’s not a safe option, the driver must slow down to a speed 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) applauded the new legislation in a statement to media.
“The Association would like to see similar laws enacted in all states,” said NW&RA President and CEO Sharon Kneiss. “We need to protect the hard-working men and women who provide vital services collecting America’s trash and recycling.”
Being struck by motorists is a leading cause of death for waste and recycling collection employees nationwide. NW&RA has worked to pass similar “Slow Down to Get Around” legislation in other states. In addition to Florida, NW&RA chapters have successfully championed such legislation in Alabama, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Michigan has passed a similar law. “Slow Down to Get Around” is the industry’s safety campaign reminding motorists to drive more carefully when near waste and recycling collection vehicles.
To learn more about the Slow Down to Get Around program, please go to www.beginwiththebin.org/slowdown.