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In conjunction with its 20th annual statewide Trash Can Open gathering of more than 100 industry representatives in Danville, Indiana, the Indiana Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) kicked off efforts urging motorists to become familiar with and obey a new law that goes into effect July 1, 2015.

House Bill 1305 was signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in May and requires drivers to change lanes if possible or slow down to at least 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit when passing a sanitation truck or risk a penalty of up to $500.

State Reps. Greg Beumer and Jud McMillin and State Sen. Jeff Raatz supported this legislation and worked closely with NWRA’s Indiana Chapter to achieve this victory for the industry’s workers, the NWRA says. Indiana now joins eight other states that have enacted Slow Down to Get Around legislation: Wisconsin, North Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan and Alabama.

NWRA is asking the media, public safety agencies and community leaders to help amplify awareness of the new law.

“NWRA applauds Indiana’s lawmakers for enacting Slow Down to Get Around,” says Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO of NWRA. “This law will save lives, prevent on-the-job injuries and makes the roads in our communities safer.”

She continues, “We hope the media and public safety partners in the state will spread the word to ensure all motorists are observing the law. Increased awareness, combined with consequences, makes it safer for our industry’s workers to get their jobs done as they serve Indiana’s communities.”

A 2014 Harris poll commissioned by NWRA found that though most Americans encounter garbage trucks on the road each week, only one-third of people slow down near them while nearly 40 percent are actually tempted to speed around them. The survey also found that most Americans believe that police officers and firefighters have deadlier jobs despite the fact the waste and recycling collectors have higher fatality rates than these other public service professions, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the NWRA reports.

“The safety of waste and recycling workers impacts all Indiana businesses and residents,” says Terry Guerin, chairman of the Indiana Chapter of the NWRA and government affairs representative for Balkema Solid Waste Operations, which serves Indiana and Kentucky. “Our employees work hard in our communities and need to be protected and kept safe. We expect all Indiana residents to do their part to promote safety by slowing down to get around.”