Motorists Will Be Required to Slow Down and Proceed With Caution When Passing Waste and Recycling Vehicles Making Collections or Face Penalties
Industry Leaders Applaud Governor Bevin and Representatives Hale and Santoro For Taking this Important Step to Protect Industry Workers
Arlington, VA – April 7, 2017 – On March16, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin(R), signed into law new legislation that will protect workers in the waste and recycling industry. HB144, Kentucky’s version of the Slow Down to Get Around law, requires motorists to slow down or move out of the way of waste and recycling vehicles. The bill was co-sponsored by Representatives Sal Santoro (R-60) and David Hale (R-74.)
Kentucky is now the thirteenth state to enact this vital legislation, commonly referred to as Slow Down to Get Around, which is designed to protect waste and recycling workers. The Kentucky State Chapter of the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) took the critical steps to develop this legislation and achieve its support in the Kentucky legislature. The bill can be found electronically at: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/17RS/HB144.htm.
The law went into effect upon the signature of the Governor on March 16, and requires motorists to slow down around waste and recycling trucks when actively engaged in making collections when safety lights are flashing, similar to cautions motorists must now exercise when traveling through a construction work zone or when passing a stopped public safety vehicle. Slow Down to Get Around is a nationwide campaign by NWRA and its state chapters. The effort in Kentucky involved a broad coalition of private waste and recycling companies, labor groups and municipal leaders in getting this important worker safety measure enacted into law.
“This law is about the safety of waste and recycling collectors who serve our communities statewide,” said Robert Lee, CEO EcoTech Waste Logistics and Kentucky Chapter Chair of NWRA. “All motorists are to exercise caution and must slow down to get around waste and recycling vehicles, which will save lives and prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries. Our focus now turns to raising awareness of the new law and educating residents of the dangers that collection workers face daily on our roadways.”
The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the waste and recycling collection occupation ranks fifth in the nation for injuries, accidents and fatalities, and more recent data shows that many accidents involving waste and collection workers are caused by inattentive motorists and distracted driving. Kentucky now joins twelve other states that have enacted Slow Down to Get Around, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
In all states, NWRA encourages motorists to be aware of the roadside dangers facing refuse and collection workers. NWRA is asking the media, public safety and transportation agencies and community leaders in Kentucky to educate motor about the new law.
The National Waste and Recycling Association is the leading organization providing leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise for the waste and recycling industries. NWRA advocates at the federal, state and local levels on all issues of importance to our member companies as they provide safe, economically sustainable and environmentally sound services to communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
NWRA’s Kentucky State Chapter represents the private sector waste and recycling industry statewide. According to data compiled by NWRA the private waste and recycling industry employs nearly 5,000 people in Kentucky.
According to data compiled by NWRA, the annual economic impact to Kentucky state’s economy, generated by the waste and recycling industry is $945 million. When the economic activity of the waste and recycling industry with other industries is calculated, the waste and recycling industry’s overall impact to Kentucky state’s economy is over $1.8 billion annually.
For more information about how innovation in the waste and recycling industry is helping solve Kentucky’s waste and recycling challenges, visit: wasterecycling.org.