New Pennsylvania law aims to improve safety for roadside workers

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MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Pennsylvania joined 21 states nation-wide  on Tuesday after the ‘Slow Down to Get Around’ law officially went into effect.

The law requires drivers to slow down and move over  when approaching mail trucks, tow trucks and waste collection workers when they are at a stop.

“Many Many times our workers will return at the end of the day and talk about a close call,"said Tim O'Donnell, General manager at Republic Services, a trash company in York County. “Our people are very much at risk out there on the highways and byways doing their normal job every single day," he added.

A spokesperson with Republic Services, a trash company in York County says the problem comes down to distracted drivers.

“They’re trying to get around, people are in a hurry and what they don’t always realize is those workers might be coming out from both sides of that truck," O'Donnell added.

According to the Bureau of Labor, trash and recycling collection is ranked the fifth deadliest job in the country.

“This is their office, out there on the streets and within the communities and we owe it to protect these people who perform such an important task, keeping our cities, our streets and our roadways clean," said O'Donnell.

People in the community say they are happy to see a change in the law, too.

“It just seems like everybody is impatient or everyone waits until the last minute to travel to work or to get to wherever they need to go but people need to be a little more patient," said Sean Lehr of York County.

“Five minutes of waiting until these people are out of the way, we can deal with that for their safety," said Cheryl Wrights of York County.

Now that the law is in full gear O’Donnell says  he is hoping people will be more cautious.

“Our people deserve to go home in the same condition at the end of the day that they started the day just like everybody else," said O'Donnell.

Police say if caught not slowing down around roadside workers, you could potentially face reckless driving charges, hundreds of dollars in fines as well as points on your license.

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