On July 30, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed legislation that requires drivers to slow down and safely change lanes when approaching solid waste and recycling vehicles. Ohio is now the 21st state to pass this legislation, commonly known as Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA).
The legislation has been a major priority for the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), which represents America’s private waste and recycling industry.
“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,” said Darrell Smith, president and CEO of NWRA, in a statement.
The NWRA Ohio Chapter worked with key stakeholders to develop the bill, which was sponsored by Ohio State Senator Frank LaRose, chairman of the Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee.
“Our industry is dedicated to making it safer for our drivers and this legislation is an important step forward. We applaud Governor Kasich for signing SB 127,” said Ohio Chapter Chair Kathy Trent of Waste Management, in a statement.
“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 Jim Thaxton of Rumpke Waste & Recycling in a statement.
On the day the bill was signed, David Evans, a 15-year employee of Rumpke Waste & Recycling, was killed while collecting waste in Middleton, Ohio, when he was hit by a truck.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) maintains its support for this legislation.
“SWANA was pleased to support this successful effort and expects to continue working with NWRA to improve worker safety in the waste industry and reduce accidents and injuries," said David Biderman, executive director and CEO at SWANA. "At SWANA, nothing we do is more important than making sure everyone goes home at the end of the day to their loved ones, safely.”
Over the past four years, NWRA member companies and its chapters nationwide have championed the legislation. A ceremonial bill signing is expected later this year. The law will take effect October 28.