Risk of Serious Injuries Warrants a Law to Protect Certain Workers

Although many have been concerned over the dangers faced by police officers or emergency workers on the side of the road, garbage and recycling collectors have long been overlooked.  Although we may not view their job as dangerous, every year it is ranked within the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America.  According to Time Magazine in 2014, garbage and recyclable material collectors were ranked 5th as the most dangerous job in America, which was 10 spots ahead of “police and sheriff’s patrol officers.”[1]  In fact, garbage and recyclable collectors had almost three times as many fatal injuries per 100,000 people then patrol officers did. But garbage and recycling collectors will finally receive more protection.[2]

Move Over Law Expanded in New York to Protect Workers from Personal Injury

On November 1, 2016, New York expanded their “Move Over Law” to include garbage and recycling trucks.[3]  Before this date, the only vehicles included in this law were police vehicles, emergency vehicles with red or blue lights, such as ambulances and firetrucks, and hazard vehicles with white or amber lights, such as tow trucks and roadway construction and maintenance crews.[4]  With garbage and recycling trucks now included, now drivers will have to slow down and move over when approaching these vehicles.

The law is outlined in New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1144-a.  It states that every driver approaching a hazard vehicle must “exercise due care.”[5]  Additionally, it states that due care includes “moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder where such vehicle” is parked, stopped, or standing in another lane.[6]

Penalties For Failing to Comply with the Law

Failure to comply with the law is a moving violation and, if ticketed for failing to “move over”, a driver faces a fine up to $275 and three points on his/her license.[7] To put this in perspective, other three point violations include: improper passing, unsafe lane change, and speeding (within 10 mph over the speed limit). After receiving six points within 18 months, a driver will be subjected to additional fines. After 11 points within 18 months, a driver will automatically have his/her license suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Personal Injury Attorneys at LaMarche Safranko Law Help People Injured In Automobile Crashes

At LaMarche Safranko Law, we support New York’s efforts to make our roads safer for drivers and pedestrians alike and are strong advocates for the seriously injured both in and out of the courtroom.  To see the results of some of our legal cases see our Verdicts and Settlements page and to see the efforts we are making in our community see road sharing alliance.

If you or someone that you know has been seriously injured because of the negligence of a motorist, please contact us today for a free consultation.

[1] David Johnson, Most Dangerous Jobs in America, Time Magazine (May 13, 2016), http://time.com/4326676/dangerous-jobs-america/.

[2] Id.

[3] Mary Wilson, Drivers are now required to move over for garbage, recycling trucks in NY,  ABC News, http://news10.com/2016/11/02/drivers-are-now-required-to-move-over-for-garbage-recycling-trucks/.

[4] Id.

[5] NY VTL §1144-a (2016).

[6] NY VTL §1144-a.

[7] Hon. Donald Magill, Magill’s Vehicle and Traffic Law Manual for Local Courts (2014).

photo credit: JLaw45 NYC DOS Mack Terrapro LEU via photopin (license)