COLUMBUS—The Senate unanimously passed legislation last week, sponsored by State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson), which would require drivers to take certain precautions when approaching a parked waste collection vehicle on Ohio's roadways.

Ohio currently offers move over protection to emergency, road safety, tow trucks, power, phone, gas and utility company vehicles.

"Without question, sanitation workers spend as much, if not more, time on roadways than any other profession currently protected by Ohio law," said Senator LaRose. "We need to ensure we are doing everything in our power to keep our hardworking men and women safe."

Between 2000 and 2009 motor vehicle accidents were the number one cause of death for sanitation workers, because of this, the National Waste & Recycling Association began the "Slow Down To Get Around" campaign in 2004. The intention was to inform the public about sanitation worker safety with the hope that drivers would begin taking caution when approaching a sanitation vehicle. The number of fatalities began to reduce dramatically soon after this awareness campaign. Unfortunately, in 2010 the number of sanitation workers killed on roadways began to climb, in part due to an increased number of distracted drivers.

"Ohio would be joining many other states that have enacted move over protections for sanitation workers," LaRose added. "We must be proactive in passing this necessary change, it shouldn’t take a tragedy to know that Ohioan’s working on our roadways need protection."

LaRose partnered with industry experts and public safety officials to usher this change through the Senate. Senate Bill 127 faced no opposition while receiving bipartisan support and will now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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