You’ve seen the “Give ‘em a brake” signs encouraging you to slow down in road construction zones. You know what the flashing lights on a school bus mean. You yield and move over to let emergency vehicles pass. But what happens when you see a trash or recycling truck at the side of the road?
For too many people, the answer is to race the engine and speed around, without paying attention to where workers are located or what they might be doing. As a result, there are many near misses and several serious accidents each year, too many of which involve fatalities.
Slow Down to Get Around is the National Waste & Recycling Association‘s safety campaign that reminds motorists to drive more carefully when near waste and recycling collection vehicles. Last year, there were 132 recorded fatalities involving workers or vehicles in the solid waste industry. Each person was someone’s child, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend. Of those who died, 38 were workers on the job and 94 were members of the public. Of those 94 non-worker fatalities, 57 were in other vehicles, 23 were pedestrians, eight were bicyclists, four were motorcyclists, and two occurred at disposal facilities.
Follow these steps to avoid an accident when you see a trash or recycling truck stopped or slowed:
• Slow down when approaching a garbage or recycling truck making its rounds. Stop if necessary, to allow workers to do their jobs.
• Look for workers before attempting to pass the truck.
• Check for traffic approaching from the opposite direction before attempting to pass the truck.
• Avoid distractions like texting, talking on the phone, adjusting your entertainment system, or programming your GPS while driving near a garbage truck.
Protect those who must work in the streets to do their jobs and yourself — Slow Down to Get Around!
Photo credit: gustavofrazao | iStock | Getty Images Plus