In the wake of a number of pedestrian deaths involving commercial garbage trucks, New York City has made a move to crack down on the industry. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law in November of 2019 that would overhaul the commercial trash collection industry.
The law comes after two deaths in six months at the hands of a commercial trash collection company called Sanitation Salvage. The company is now out of business. However, pedestrian deaths and injuries caused by private garbage trucks have been happening for years. Since 2010, 28 New Yorkers have been killed by private garbage trucks. More have been injured. This results from the truck drivers’ disregard of the law and safety of others. Trash collectors follow busy routes that require them to work long hours. This can result in drowsiness behind the wheel and the temptation to cut corners in order to finish the job. This behavior is dangerous to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists on the road.
The new law divides the city into 20 zones wherein only three private trash collection companies may work. These companies must be approved by the Department of Sanitation. Business owners will only be able to choose from the three companies in their zone. In addition, the law requires trash companies to provide safety training to workers, report to the sanitation safety task force, and adhere to labor laws that limit the hours collectors work. By shortening their routes to specific areas and limiting their hours, drivers will be less exhausted and less likely to cause accidents.
Prior to the law, which will go into effect in 2021, over 90 different commercial trash collection companies crisscrossed the city, hauling trash for thousands of businesses. Most of the trash collection took place at night. Now the number of companies working in a given area will be limited, which should prevent some of the safety issues that had arisen in the past.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a private garbage truck, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney. For over 50 years, Bonina & Bonina, P.C. has been helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.