The campaign encourages drivers to extend to service vehicles the courtesy they already show school buses. Drivers understand that when they see a school bus, children are likely to be nearby, so they are expected to slow down.
They also slow down because it’s the law. Speed up around a stopped school bus and you’re likely to get a ticket.
Unfortunately for trash collectors, postal workers and other service vehicles, it’s common for drivers to be not so courteous when they see their trucks stopped in the road.
In fact, some drivers become more aggressive when they see stopped service vehicles, speeding around to avoid them. Unfortunately, the results can be tragic.
A Dangerous Profession
Road accidents caused by distracted or speeding drivers are a huge risk for the more than 135,000 men and women of the solid waste collection industry who are out in force each day keeping communities clean and healthy.
Primarily because of such roadway dangers, trash collection is one of the country’s most dangerous professions. Just ask your local trash collector, and you’re likely to get an earful about the near misses he or she faces nearly every day.
A national safety campaign developed by solid waste companies is aimed at putting an end to tragic road accidents involving garbage collectors—a leading cause of workplace deaths for such employees. Called “Slow Down to Get Around,” the campaign urges drivers to be more careful around solid waste collection vehicles.
Setting an Example
“Unlike with school buses, there are no traffic laws forcing drivers to be cautious around garbage trucks,” said Bruce Parker, president of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), which represents the private-sector solid waste industry in the U.S. “It’s a major problem, but one that is easily solved.”
“It only takes one smart and cautious driver to set an example,” said NSWMA Safety Director David Biderman. “Be a leader in your community—when you see a trash truck, slow down to get around. By doing so, you may be saving a life.”
For more information, visit www.environmentalistseveryday.org/safety. A national safety campaign is urging drivers to be more careful around solid waste collection vehicles.