Maryland governor signs Slow Down to Get Around bill into law

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, has announced Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill Operation When Approaching Vehicle with Visual Signals into law, making Maryland the 18th state to pass Slow Down to Get Around legislation.

“Slow Down to Get Around” is the name commonly applied to legislation that requires motorists to slow down or move over when passing waste and recycling vehicles that are in the process of collection. It is like many existing laws that require motorists to be cautious when traveling through a construction work zone or when passing a stopped public safety vehicle.

“SWANA is very pleased that Maryland has enacted these important protections for waste collection workers, and I am pleased that I had the opportunity to testify in support of the bill,” David Biderman, SWANA’s executive director and CEO, says. “This is an excellent example of what the industry can do when we work together to achieve a common goal.”

On Feb. 6, SWANA submitted written testimony in support of a Maryland Senate bill that would add waste collection to the existing list of vehicles requiring traffic to move over or slow down when approaching. At a similar committee hearing Feb. 15 in the Maryland House of Delegates, Biderman testified in support of Slow Down to Get Around and explained to lawmakers why waste and collection workers need these protections.

The first two worker fatalities in 2017 were both in the state of Maryland, including the death of city of Laurel employee Marcus Colbert. Laurel Mayor Craig Moe testified at the Maryland statehouse to help pass the state’s bill.