National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) Chairman Ben Harvey submitted written testimony for the record on behalf of the association before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee for its hearing on “Every Life Counts: Improving the Safety of our Nation’s Roadways.”
Harvey called attention to the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) named the waste and recycling collector as the fifth most dangerous occupation and that in 2017 waste and recycling had 33 fatalities, of which 23 were transportation related.
Harvey urged Congress to use federal infrastructure legislation or surface transportation appropriations as a vehicle to enact incentives for states to adopt “Move Over” laws that include waste and recycling collection workers similar to the incentives it uses to encourage states to set and keep their legal drinking age at 21 years old.
“This is an opportunity for Congress to make a real difference in improving safety with minimal effort and no additional cost,” said Harvey in a statement.
“Move Over laws carry an important message—take your time and slow down around waste and recycling collection 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. However, distracted drivers operating near a collection truck are a major hazard for waste collection workers.”
NWRA has been at the forefront of efforts to expand state “Move Over” laws to include waste and recycling vehicles.