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Slow Down When Passing Garbage Trucks. It’s the Law!

 November 10, 2016
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Slow Down When Passing Garbage Trucks. It’s the Law!

North Hempstead, NY – Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth would like to remind residents that it is now illegal to speed past garbage and/or sanitation vehicles in New York State.

An earlier law, passed in 2011, stated that drivers must slow down and move over a lane, if possible, when approaching hazard vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks, and tow trucks. The latest amendment, which was signed into law in August and took effect last week, classifies garbage trucks and waste collection vehicles as “hazard vehicles” as well.

Motorists must now reduce their speed when passing waste and recycling collection vehicles with flashing lights. First-time violators can be fined up to $150, get 15 days in jail or both, as well as two points on a driver’s license, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“Most people don’t realize how hazardous the job of a sanitation worker is,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “They shouldn’t have to worry about reckless motorists putting their lives in danger on local roads as well.”

In fact, sanitation workers and refuse collectors have higher fatality rates than police or firemen. Federal statistics that show the job has the fifth highest rate of injuries, accidents and fatalities. In 2016, only loggers, fishermen, aircraft pilots, and roofers were at greater risk of dying on the job.


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