Arlington, VA– May 22, 2017 – On May 19, the Missouri General Assembly approved legislation that will protect workers in the waste and recycling industry on the state’s roadways. Missouri is now the sixteenth state to pass this vital legislation, commonly referred to as Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA), which is designed to protect waste and recycling workers. The Missouri Chapter of the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) worked with key stakeholders to develop this legislation and achieve its support in the Missouri legislature.
Missouri’s version of the Slow Down to Get Around law requires motorists, when they approach a stationary vehicle displaying lighted amber or amber and white lights, to:
- Proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle, if on a roadway having at least four lanes with not less than two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
- Proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be unsafe or impossible.
Passage of this legislation was accomplished by modifying an existing Missouri law requiring motorists to slow down if approaching flashing lights on stationary vehicles to now include the waste and recycling industry. This effort was led in the Missouri legislature by Senator Dan Hegeman (R) and Representative Craig Redmon (R). Senator Dave Schatz (R), Chair of Transportation, helped shepherd this expansion of the current law to include the waste and recycling industry in this safety bill. The law goes into effect on August 28, 2017.
“We are very pleased to know that because of this law, our industry employees on Missouri roadways will be safer, “ said Kevin O’Brien, chair of the NWRA Missouri chapter and manager for WCA “What we need now is for the public to be aware and follow this law. We need motorists to be on the watch for flashing amber or amber and white lights on trucks, and then actively exercise caution around them. Following this law will save lives by preventing unnecessary accidents and injuries.”
The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the waste and recycling collection occupation ranks fifth in the nation for fatal work injury rates. Recent data shows that many accidents involving waste and recycling collection workers are caused by inattentive motorists or distracted driving. Missouri now joins 15 other states that have enacted Slow Down to Get Around, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Slow Down to Get Around is a nationwide campaign by NWRA and its state chapters. In all states, NWRA encourages motorists to be aware of the roadside dangers facing waste and recycling collection workers. NWRA is asking the media, public safety and transportation agencies along with community leaders in Missouri to educate motorists about the new law.
The National Waste and Recycling Association is the leading organization providing leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise for the waste and recycling industries. NWRA advocates at the federal, state and local levels on all issues of importance to our member companies as they provide safe, economically sustainable and environmentally sound services to communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
NWRA’s Missouri State Chapter represents the private sector waste and recycling industry statewide. According to data compiled by NWRA the private waste and recycling industry employs nearly 7,000 people in Missouri.
According to data compiled by NWRA, the annual economic impact to Missouri’s state economy, generated by the waste and recycling industry is $1.2 billion. When the economic activity of the waste and recycling industry with other industries is calculated, the waste and recycling industry’s overall impact to Missouri’s state economy is over $2.3 billion annually.
For more information about how innovation in the waste and recycling industry is helping solve Missouri’s waste and recycling challenges, visit: wasterecycling.org.