NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — Move Over or Slow Down. We know that’s the law when passing first responders. It also includes trucks picking up your trash or recycling.
In New Braunfels, the Department of Public Works is beginning to post signs on their solid waste, recycling and green waste collection trucks. The bright signs remind drivers to “Slow Down to Get Around.”
Driving safely on trash day is a courtesy that could save a life.
Joe, Mark and Devin spent Tuesday driving through southwest New Braunfels to pick up lawn clippings and tree limbs. Joe drives the green waste collection truck while Devin and Mark hop on and off the back to pick up bags and branches. They’ve seen just about everything from the back of the truck, including the community's finest.
“They'll come out and wave to us, give us Gatorade and stuff on hot days,” said Devin Blume, a green waste collector for the City of New Braunfels. “So that's appreciated.”
The trio also holds their breath when cars pass by.
“There's a blindside when you come around that corner,” Blume said. “If we're going to grab something and put something in the back, we only have half a second or so to get out of the way. So just slow it down.”
Drivers who don’t slow down at least 20 miles below the posted speed limit, or change lanes, could get a $200 ticket. Garbage and recycling collection trucks are protected by the “move over or slow down” law, an effort to prevent workers from being hurt or killed.
In 2018, 57 people died in trash collection-related crashes in the U.S., and even more people were hurt. Being hit by a car is the biggest risk for the employees. Blume says his crew works as a team to keep each other safe. He hopes drivers will do their part.
“It's kind of like family because you work together all the time. I see them more than I see my wife, so I want to see them get home. Most of them have families with kids and I don't want anything to happen at work just because somebody wasn't paying attention,” he added.
The “Move Over or Slow Down” law applies when passing emergency vehicles, tow trucks, TXDOT or construction vehicles, utility trucks and solid waste, or recycling collection vehicles.