National "Move Over"
NWRA recommends that the federal government use infrastructure legislation or surface transportation appropriations as the vehicle to enact incentives for states to adopt “Move Over” laws covering the waste and recycling industry similar to the incentives it uses to encourage states to set their legal drinking age at 21 years old.
Careless driving by motorists puts waste and recycling collectors at risk every day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has named this profession as the fifth most deadly occupation. Of all the fatalities endured by these hard-working men and women, two-thirds (68 percent) were the result of transportation incidents. Many of these incidents are caused by inattentive or distracted driving by motorists who failed to yield to waste and recycling collection vehicles. Most of the time, the danger is no different than that experienced by police officers, firefighters, and tow truck drivers who are stopped along the side of the road.
A total of 30 states around the country have enacted “Move Over” laws covering the waste and recycling industry. The statutes vary from state to state, but the laws generally require drivers to slow down and yield to collection vehicles, especially when the operator is emptying a cart or walking back to the truck. “Move Over” laws are saving lives by requiring drivers to exercise caution and avoid distractions when they are approaching a collection truck.
NWRA urges Congress to use federal infrastructure legislation or surface transportation appropriations as a vehicle to enact incentives for states to adopt “Move Over” laws that include waste and recycling collection workers similar to the incentives it uses to encourage states to set and keep their legal drinking age at 21 years old. This is an opportunity for Congress to make a real difference in improving safety with minimal effort.
- BLS named the waste and recycling collector as the fifth deadliest occupation in 2018.
- The danger they face is the same as that experienced by police officers, firefighters, and tow truck drivers who are stopped along the side of the road.
- Approximately 70,000 waste and recycling workers are exposed to dangerous driving situations, such as distracted driving, each workday.
Updated January 2020.