Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano Announces Enforcement of New York State Law, Slow Down To Get Around
November 1, 2016 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, along with Department of Public Works Commissioner Tom Meier and other local and state officials today announced enforcement in Yonkers of the New York State Law, SLOW DOWN TO GET AROUND. Today, November 1st, marks the first day Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state law goes into effect. The law requires motorists to slow down when passing waste & recycling collection vehicles.
New U.S. government data reports fatalities in waste and recycling industry as the 5th highest among all occupations. The occupation of sanitation collection averages 90 deaths annually per 100,000 workers. The high number of deaths can be attributed partly to impatient drivers, who try to pass stopped garbage collection vehicles and end up hitting collectors. The most recent date from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that waste collectors on average are injured 5 to 7 times more than the average worker - with 52.7 injuries per 100 workers.
“We are committed to educating the public on the SLOW DOWN TO GET AROUND campaign and enforcing this new state law that Governor Cuomo signed,” said Mayor Spano. “Many people do not realize that our sanitation workers face extreme danger at times from vehicles not slowing down when approaching our DPW trucks. It is imperative that our residents slow down when they see one of our trucks with their yellow lights flashing. The safety of our citizens and city employees will always be our top priority.”
During today’s press conference, Mayor Spano introduced Yonkers DPW employee John Calise, who was severely injured in July 2015 after being hit by a motorist while working on a city sanitation truck. Calise was out of work for nearly three months and had to endure several surgeries because of the accident.
“Our industry is seeing more and more accidents each year that involve motorists driving too fast when attempting to pass a sanitation vehicle,” said Yonkers DPW Commissioner Tom Meier. “We appreciate this law being signed by Governor Cuomo and the commitment to enforcing it throughout Yonkers by Mayor Spano.”
SLOW DOWN TO GET AROUND is the National Waste and Recycling Association’s national safety campaign that reminds motorists to drive more carefully when near waste and recycling collection vehicles. New York became the 12th state to enact this vital legislation this fall.
By classifying garbage trucks and waste collection vehicles as “hazard vehicles,” the new SLOW DOWN TO GET AROUND builds off the preexisting “Move Over” law. The trucks in the new law are defined as any motor vehicle with a rear compaction function that is intended for the collection of refuse. A violation of the law comes with a fine of $45 to $100 and can carry a prison term of up to 15 days.