PSAs Encourage Safe Driving Around Waste Trucks/Employees

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA -- www.nswma.org) is releasing a television public service announcement (PSA) as the latest component of its "Slow Down to Get Around" program. The new ad encourages motorists to drive slowly when around solid waste/recycling collection vehicles and employees.

This is an important message, as solid waste and recycling collection employees have one of the highest fatality rates of any job in the United States, and there has been an increase in the number of collection employees struck by motorists in recent years, NSWMA stated.

There are 136,000 waste collection vehicles on roads throughout the United States each day. Too often, distracted motorists on increasingly congested roads accelerate when approaching a waste collection vehicle. Driver-education programs universally teach drivers to slow down or stop when approaching a school bus, but it is not commonly understood that waste collection vehicles are similarly vulnerable as they also move slowly, make many stops and generally are accompanied by men and women collecting and emptying waste and recycling cans.

During the last 12 months, at least six waste collection employees were killed after being struck in a roadway accident. Primary causes of these incidents have involved motorists distracted with a phone, excessive speed and glare from the sun.

NSWMA's General Counsel David Biderman, who directs the NSWMA safety program stated, "Too many families have suffered the loss of a loved one through this sort of incident. But we can reduce the frequency of this type of accident by educating the general public. We understand why such accidents occur. With some simple changes and better driver education, we can save many lives."

NWSMA produced 60-second and 30-second versions of the new television ad with support from OSHA. In addition to this television PSA, NSWMA recently aired a "Slow Down to Get Around" radio ad in 10 media markets. NSWMA also is making "Slow Down to Get Around" decals available that haulers may put on their trucks to remind motorists to drive carefully. NSWMA makes the television and radio advertisements and decals available to interested parties at no charge. NSWMA encourages companies and local governments to share copies of the ads with their local radio and television stations.

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