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Drivers Will Have to Slow Down Around Garbage Trucks Under New Law

By Katie Honan | November 1, 2016 4:49pm
The "Slow Down Go Around" puts garbage and recycling trucks in the same category as emergency vehicles.
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JACKSON HEIGHTS — Drivers now have to slow down when moving by sanitation trucks under a new law that took effect Tuesday. 

The "Slow Down to Get Around Bill," sponsored by Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, now identifies sanitation trucks as "hazard vehicles" similar to a police car or ambulance with lights flashing.

Drivers will have to use extra caution and, most importantly, slow down when approaching them on the streets — or face fines and penalties.

The change will make things safer for sanitation and waste management workers — the fifth most dangerous profession in the country, according to United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"It has a lot has to do with our work environment," Steve Changaris, the New York State Chapter Manager of the National Waste & Recycling Association said. . 

"We're in a very live environment with motorists on the road, collection on the curb."

Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia also praised the new law, saying it will lead "to safer conditions for our workforce."

"Sanitation Workers face incredible dangers every day working to collect more than 11,000 tons of garbage and recycling from New York City residents, agencies and institutions," she said in a statement. 

The new law took effect Nov. 1. Details of the exact fines or penalties that drivers would face were not immediately available.