YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are more delivery drivers on the road than ever before. Amazon, UPS, FedEx, even private carriers have seen deliveries spike since the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was increasing even before then.
With all those vehicles on the road, including garbage trucks and other commercial vehicles, preventing accidents is the goal of an initiative called Slow Down to Get Around.
Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA) is also 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.
Following an accident earlier this week in Columbiana County where a garbage truck driver was hit outside of his truck, delivery professionals are urging motorists to be careful.
A similar situation happened in 2004 and then again a few days later, both actually prompted the SDTGA campaign.
“A young man by the name of Steven Finch was on his route doing what he was trained to do, wearing all the proper safety equipment, and an individual came up behind him and struck him and killed him. He was 35 years old and had a couple of kids,” said Larry Stone, safety and human resources manager for Ecotech Waste Logistics.
Three days after Finch’s death, another man was struck and thrown almost 50 feet.
While the SDTGA initiative was born from the tragic accidents that happened in the waste collection industry, the movement is part of a nationwide effort to protect all commercial drivers.
Refuse and recyclable materials collector is the sixth most dangerous job in the U.S., according to the National Census of Fatal and Occupational Injuries.