Waste truck collisions in Miami, Homestead, and other Florida cities are a cause for concern. Although often low-speed crashes, these accidents pose a high risk for injury, since waste trucks are so heavy and large. These collisions especially tend to affect pedestrians who may be trying to get around the truck. In many cases, motorists and pedestrians may not notice the frequent stops waste trucks make.
Last month, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 7005 into law. The transportation bill includes rules that will hopefully help prevent recycling and waste truck collisions. One part of the bill includes waste and recycling trucks in the state’s “Move Over Act.” The “Move Over Act” has been in Florida for some time and requires drivers to move over one lane or slow down to 20 mph under the posted speed limit when approaching a tow truck or emergency vehicle. The law was aimed at reducing pedestrian accidents in Miami and other cities caused by drivers passing too close to emergency workers and tow truck drivers who were assisting people on the side of the road. Thanks to the passage of House Bill 7005 into law, recycling and waste trucks will now be included, potentially preventing Florida and Miami roadway collisions involving recycling and sanitation workers.
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) has praised the new law and has also continued its own efforts to pass “Slow Down to Get Around” laws in other states. The organization also has a “Slow Down to Get Around” campaign to alert drivers of the importance of slowing down and driving with more caution when driving near or around sanitation trucks. The campaign is meant to help reduce traffic accidents as well as sanitation worker workplace accidents in Miami and other cities.
Safety experts and the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) have a few tips for drivers to help them avoid car collisions in Miami and other cities:
1) Keep in mind that waste and recycling collection trucks make frequent stops and have larger blind spots. Driving near these vehicles is not like driving near other cars – or even near commercial trucks. Drivers need to be more alert and prepared to stop.
2) Be aware of pedestrian traffic around sanitation trucks. Workers need to move from the truck to the sidewalk to pick up recyclables and other items. This makes them vulnerable to collisions. When you see a sanitation truck stopped or parked, keep alert for any workers in the area.
3) On your own waste and recycling collection day, use extra caution when leaving your driveway for work. When backing up, make sure that there are no city workers in your blind spots. On collection day, place your recycling and any other items for pick-up at the appropriate place on the curb.