“Slow Down to Get Around” law takes effect this week

“Slow Down to Get Around” law takes effect this week

Author: Stephany Dugan/Monday, December 17, 2018/Categories: News and Views

Signs displaying “I’m a dad” and “I’m a mom” were held by employees of Pennsylvania waste and recycling collection companies at a state Capitol news conference as reminders of the importance of their safety and the dangers they face while on the job along the state’s busy streets and highways.

The news conference was held to remind motorists of a new law that takes effect this week to better protect waste hauling workers while on the job.

The Slow Down to Get Around law officially goes into effect December 18 and requires drivers to slow down when approaching a solid waste collection truck, especially when a worker is emptying a container or walking back to the truck.

Tim O’Donnell, Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association president, said the safety of the more than 18,000 waste haulers, recyclers and landfill operators employed by the private sector is the most important part of the new law.

“It is our collective obligation to make sure that they safely return home every night to their families,” said O’Donnell.

The PWIA will be launching a driver education campaign in the coming months by placing signs on trucks and containers and using social media to reach as many Pennsylvania motorists as possible.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly nine out of 10 motorists believe that distracted driving is the biggest threat on the roadway, yet half admit to talking on a handheld cell phone while driving.

Its 2017 annual survey to drivers also reported that only about two in 10 drivers have yet to engage in an aggressive driving behavior that can be classified as road rage.

“AAA would like to call on motorists to start observing their own driving behaviors,” said Jodie Daubert, President and CEO of AAA Central Penn.

The law, spearheaded by Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Delaware), also provides for the use of yellow and white lights for tow trucks, internal blue lights for privately-owned vehicles used in answering emergency calls and other light-specific uses designed to increase the visibility of those who need to be conducting their job along a roadway.

According to the state police, a fine of $25, plus court costs and fees, will be charged to violators.

“Trash haulers and others who work on the roadside have very dangerous jobs. By paying attention, slowing down, and moving over, we can each do our part to keep them safe,” said spokesperson for the Pennsylvania State Police Ryan Tarkowski.

Pennsylvania joins 21 other states with similar laws on the books. 

 

 

Stephany Dugan a staff writer for The PLS Reporter. Have a question, comment or tip? Email her at stephany@mypls.com.

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