A new law was recently passed this week in the State of Ohio that is geared toward protecting waste collection truck workers. If you weren’t aware, this industry is one of the riskiest among all to work in. In fact, “refuse and recycling collectors have the fifth highest death rate among civilian occupations in the country,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2016 alone, 31 individuals died as a result of transportation incidents. The new “move over” law was passed with an 84-0 vote and requires drivers to move over a lane when passing trash trucks with flashing lights.
Some other important things drivers need to be aware of regarding this new law include:

  • The new law only applies to public safety vehicles, according to Dayton Daily News.
  • In the event there is not another lane to move over to when approaching a garbage truck, you must “proceed with caution and maintain a speed safe for road, weather, and traffic conditions.”
  • If a driver violates the “move over” law, they are at risk of being charged with a misdemeanor moving violation and a fine up to $300 plus court costs.

Although the law won’t cure drivers of their bad habits, it is a breakthrough for sanitation workers as too many see accidents happening or have close calls with drivers while completing their duties. The fact is, a single garbage truck can make anywhere between 600-900 stops a day, all of which can become fatal stops if one driver isn’t paying attention and accidentally careens into the back of their truck.
When the bill was approved by the Senate in October and the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee in February, sanitation workers became hopeful that they would be less at risk of sustaining an injury or dying while out working. The news source shared a story involving one sanitation worker who was injured in an accident and lost both of his legs. It was back in 1996 when Kenny Lawson was out working in his family waste business and was hit by a vehicle. He was only 25-years-old at the time. A driver drove straight into the back of the trash truck, pinning him in between both vehicles. That is what caused him to lose both of his legs.
Lawson told the source, “People just don’t pay attention. We try to prepare and keep ourselves safe out there, but without this law, they just come flying up on the trucks anyway.” The accident he was involved in occurred on a four-lane road. Had the law been passed, it would have required that driver to move over, although there is no guarantee they would have, but he stood a better chance at still having his legs intact had it been in effect.
Thankfully, drivers are now required to move over a lane for garbage trucks in Ohio and Lawson believes that if it can help save one life or prevent someone from getting injured or paralyzed, it has done what he and many others needed it to do.
Injured in a truck collision in or nearby to Jackson, OH? If so, it is important that you contact truck accident attorney Richard M. Lewis today to learn more about what your legal rights are in the matter.
Now, if you are someone who operates a truck for a living but was recently injured in an accident in OH, you are encouraged to contact a Jackson, OH truck accident lawyer who can help get you the financial assistance you will need while you head down the road to recovery. Jackson, OH truck crash attorney Richard M. Lewis is one of the best in the field and has provided his legal advice and guidance to many who have been involved in an accident and have suffered an injury. If you would like to get an initial consultation scheduled to discuss your recent incident, call 740-286-0071 today.
You can reach The Law Firm of Richard M. Lewis, LLC at:
295 Pearl Street
Jackson, OH 45640

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