Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed SB 445, legislation that requires drivers to slow down and safely change lanes when approaching solid waste and recycling vehicles from behind, into law. This legislation, commonly known as Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA), is a priority for the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).
“Driving safely should be a top priority for anyone getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. We all want to safely get home to our families. This legislation carries an important message—take your time and slow down around garbage trucks,” said Darrell Smith, president and CEO of NWRA, in a statement.
NWRA member companies have been diligent in providing advanced safety training for drivers and those who hop off the trucks to make collections. But drivers who are distracted, or just going too fast, are a major hazard for waste collection workers. Over the past four years, NWRA member companies and its chapters nationwide have successfully championed Slow Down to Get Around legislation, which is now the law in 18 states and under consideration in several more.
SWANA was instrumental in helping this bill get signed into law. On February 6, SWANA submitted written testimony in support of a Maryland Senate bill that would add waste collection to the existing list of vehicles requiring traffic to move over or slow down when approaching. At a similar committee hearing on February 15 in the Maryland House of Delegates, SWANA CEO and Executive Director David Biderman testified in support of Slow Down to Get Around and explained to lawmakers why waste and collection workers need these protections.
“SWANA is very pleased that Maryland has enacted these important protections for waste collection workers, and I am pleased that I had the opportunity to testify in support of the bill,” said Biderman in a statement. “This is an excellent example of what the industry can do when we work together to achieve a common goal.”
Maryland is the 18th state to pass the legislation, and the law will go into effect on October 1.