West Virginia Governor Signs Law Requiring Cautious Driving Near Sanitation Trucks

“Slow Down to Get Around” law aims to prevent accidents and injuries to collection workers
Aug 6, 2014 6:00 PM ET

MARTINSBURG, W.Va., August 6, 2014 /3BL Media/ — West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today ceremonially signed a new law cracking down on reckless driving around waste and recycling vehicles.

Photos from bill signing event are available by request or at http://bit.ly/WV-SDTGA.

The “Slow Down to Get Around” bill authored by state Sen. Donald Cookman (D-Hampshire) and endorsed by the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), requires West Virginia drivers to slow down to 15 miles per hour when passing a stopped sanitation truck.

“With the ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 378 we recognize the tremendous strides we have taken toward protecting our public service workers and keeping our communities safe,” Gov. Tomblin said. “Sanitation workers have a difficult job and perform an essential public service. I’m proud West Virginia has joined the nationwide effort to keep these dedicated public workers safe.”

NW&RA supports the law seeking to prevent accidents and fatalities near sanitation trucks caused by careless drivers—a major cause of fatalities to waste and recycling truck workers nationwide. NW&RA has long championed driver safety with its national “Slow Down to Get Around Campaign” reminding motorists to drive more carefully near waste collection vehicles. West Virginia joins Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin as states having passed Slow Down to Get Around laws in recent years.

“Our most important objective is to ensure waste and recycling collection workers return home safely to their families every night, and we applaud West Virginia’s strong effort to preserve their safety and the safety of all motorists. Our workers already have one of the toughest jobs in America, so let’s work together to make it one of the safest,” said Sharon H. Kneiss, NW&RA president and CEO.

Gov. Tomblin held the bill’s commemoration ceremony at the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office in Martinsburg in memory of local sanitation worker Jeremy Tabler, whose tragic death on the job in March 2013 inspired Sen. Cookman, his representative, to push for safety reforms.

“The ‘Slow Down to Get Around’ bill was a result of Jeremy Tabler’s tragic death. This legislation, which I refer to as ‘Tiffany's Bill,’ would not have become law if it had not been for the perseverance and dedication of Tiffany Tabler, Jeremy's widow, and their two daughters, Annaliese and Jewelia, as well as their attorney, Ron Harman,” Cookman said.

Tabler is survived by his wife and two young daughters, who were present at the bill signing.

“I have been very honored by everyone's passion and help to get such an important bill passed,”  Tiffany Tabler said. “It is truly humbling to have Governor Tomblin and Senator Cookman come to our hometown and validate the importance of the bill, and it was an honor to be able to meet many of our senators and delegates in the process. My daughters and I are extremely thankful to have a positive come out of our loss, and I think that my husband Jeremy would have been proud we were able to accomplish a law to protect his friends and co-workers.”

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The National Waste & Recycling Association is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety of other service providers. For more information about how innovation in the environmental services industry is helping to solve today’s environmental challenges, visit www.beginwiththebin.org.