During a press event at the Pennsylvania State Capitol rotunda, Pennsylvania Waste Industry Association (PWIA) members, who represent the private sector companies that collect and dispose of municipal solid waste in Pennsylvania, were joined by the leadership of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), American Automobile Association—Central Penn and the Independent Waste Haulers Association to raise awareness of a new law to protect Pennsylvanians who work along our roadways.
“Today, Pennsylvanians were reminded to slow down and save lives of Pennsylvania workers while they are collecting waste and recycling materials along our roadways,” said Darrell Smith, president and CEO of NWRA, in a statement. “Slow Down to Get Around laws carry an important message—take your time and slow down around garbage trucks. We applaud Pennsylvania for joining 21 other states that have now passed similar laws that serve as a national best practice to prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries.”
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.
“The Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association has been leading the charge to encourage Pennsylvania drivers to slow down to help keep workers safe on our streets,” said Tim O’Donnell, president of PWIA, in a statement. “These men and women provide an essential service in our communities every day—including our waste and recycling collection workers, fire and police officials and individuals providing roadside assistance—and it’s our obligation to remind motorists to slow down to help keep them safe.”
A Slow Down to Get Around driver education effort will remind Pennsylvania motorists to maintain a safe speed and pass vehicles—and the men and women who operate them—with due care and caution as they collect our trash, deliver our mail and provide roadside assistance. Pennsylvania joins 21 other states that have passed similar laws.
The new Slow Down to Get Around provision, part of HB 1414, was passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and signed into law on October 19.
The law, which goes into effect in December, will:
- Require motorists approaching and passing a stationary solid waste collection vehicle to reduce and maintain a safe speed for weather, road conditions and traffic in order to proceed with due care and caution.
- Provide for the use and display of yellow strobe lights that can be seen by traffic in both directions.
House Bill 1414 provides for yellow and white lights for tow trucks, red lights for vehicles used by probation officers in the First Judicial district of Philadelphia, internal blue lights for privately-owned vehicles used in answering emergency calls, internally mounted lights in certain fire police vehicles and yellow strobe lights for solid waste collection vehicles.
“This new law is a big win for our workers and our industry,” said Gary Roberts, executive director of the Pennsylvania Independent Waste Haulers Association, in a statement. “We send men and women out each day to do the important work of keeping our communities clean. The Slow Down law will help make sure they return home safely to their families each night.”