Watching Out for Waste Truckers

An unusual public awareness effort is taking shape on behalf of waste truck crews, sponsored by waste equipment maker McNeilus, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Truck Corp. In an interview with Fleet Owner, McNeilus’ advertising director Jeff Swertfeger explained that the goal of the campaign – “Slow Down to Get Around” – is to get the public to slow when approaching trash trucks and give them a wide berth

An unusual public awareness effort is taking shape on behalf of waste truck crews, sponsored by waste equipment maker McNeilus, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Truck Corp.

In an interview with Fleet Owner, McNeilus’ advertising director Jeff Swertfeger explained that the goal of the campaign – “Slow Down to Get Around” – is to get the public to slow when approaching trash trucks and give them a wide berth to avoid hitting refuse collection personnel.

“It’s a well-known fact that refuse truck crews are in harm’s way when they perform their jobs,” he said. “What we are trying to do is raise awareness in the public’s mind that they need to be more careful when driving near trash crews in order to avoid accidents, injuries, and fatalities.”

Swertfeger pointed to statistics compiled by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) that showed 24 refuse workers were killed on the job between 1999 and 2004 – and that inattentive motorists caused 60% of those fatalities.

He added that McNeilus has already produced both television and radio public service announcements (PSAs) for its “Slow Down to Get Around” campaign. He said any municipality or private waste hauler that wants to help broadcast the PSAs could customize them to highlight their operation.

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