More Protection for Garbage Collectors

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- There's a new law in Pennsylvania to protect workers on the road collecting garbage. If you come upon a garbage truck at work with lights flashing, you need to slow down or change lanes if you can.

The law is called "Slow Down to Get Around." We spoke with a sanitation company in the area about how important it is that these changes were made.

Carl Hook has been a driver for Waste Reduction and Recycling in Hanover Township for 15 years.

"Sometimes it's difficult. Cars will fly behind you. They'll fly around you trying to turn, cut you off."

Video from a public service announcement made by the National Waste and Recycling Association shows the dangers of driving a garbage truck.

The new law which went into effect Tuesday allows garbage trucks to add extra caution lights to their vehicles and tells drivers to slow down and to change lanes and move over if possible for garbage trucks.

"Helps us out a lot to slow people down for us. We can move around better, a lot safer," Hook said.

"This is a good thing. We need to slow everybody down. It's a good thing for the trash industry. It's a good thing for folks like PennDOT. Even down to the school buses, everybody needs to pay more attention," said Joe Valenti, the president of Waste Reduction and Recycling. "If a hauler is picking garbage, they have garbage, they have guys hanging off the back of the truck, it's huge for them. I mean, they're an open target."

Police say if you are caught not slowing down, you could face reckless driving charges.


  • beekeeper

    We’ve had this law for police officer for a long time now. Sanitation worker is the 5th most dangerous job in America, and they perform an essential service (police officer is 14th most dangerous). It’s about time sanitation workers got the protection they deserve.

  • Matt Berns

    What if its a recycling or dumpster truck? Does it include both public and private haulers? How many yellow lights will the truck have? If the speed limit is 45 and I slow down to 44 while passing them is that good enough? What is the fine if Im caught? Story is pretty vague.

  • Daryl Fisher

    They prefer to be called Sanitation Engineers, not Garbage Collectors. The difference is, about five bucks an hour in pay.

  • jimbrony

    Yeah, we all know how well that law is working for PennDOT, the police, tow truck drivers, and any other poor soul that has to work on the highways. Good luck sanitation workers, and grow eyes in the back of your head, you already know you need them. Too many people in a hurry to go nowhere, and not paying attention.

    • Bob Calvey

      Jim agree with you every one flying not caring about anyone else same with texting i roll up on people who have no idea whose around them you mean to tell me police don’t see this

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