Protection for Kentucky Waste Collectors
Kentucky's "Slow Down to Get Around Law” requires drivers to yield to waste collection trucks.
The leading cause of death for waste and recycling collection employees is being struck by a motorist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2019, refuse and recyclable material collectors have the 6th highest rate of on-the-job fatality in the United States. (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf).
Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA) is a national safety
campaign that reminds motorists to drive more carefully
when near waste and recycling collection vehicles.
In 2017, legislature passed Kentucky's "Slow Down to Get Around Law" - KRS § 189.377. The statute requires drivers to yield to waste collection trucks, and the employees working on such trucks, when their lights are flashing and collections are occurring. The full text of the statute can be read below.
KRS § 189.377 does more than just raise awareness. It provides an easier avenue of recourse for refuse and recyclable material collectors who are struck by a vehicle on the job. Historically, an injured refuse or recycling collector would have needed to show ordinary negligence by the at-fault driver. Under KRS § 189.377, a driver is now specifically required to yield to the right-of-way of a refuse or recycling collector operating in the course of his employment. Failure to do so renders the driver negligent per se.
Kentucky Revised Statutes Title XVI. Motor Vehicles § 189.377. Yielding right-of-way to solid waste collection service vehicle
(1) As used in this section, "solid waste collection service vehicle" means a vehicle used by a solid waste collection service provider registered with a county pursuant to KRS 224.43-315(2) .
(2) Upon approaching and passing a stationary solid waste collection service vehicle that is giving a visual signal by alternately displaying flashing yellow, red, white, or amber lights, the operator of the approaching motor vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to the solid waste collection service vehicle or any collection service employees by:
(a) Reducing to, and maintaining, a safe speed for weather, road conditions, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic; and
(b) Proceeding with due care and caution.
(3) This section may be cited as the Slow Down to Get Around Law.
Powell Klausing has successfully applied Kentucky's "Slow Down to Get Around Law" to achieve personal injury awards on behalf of waste collection workers. If you or a loved one has been injured in the course of employment as a refuse or recyclable material collector, please call our office to learn more about your legal options.