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Articles Tagged with garbage truck accident

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Negligent garbage truck company out of businessAfter two people were killed by Sanitation Salvage garbage trucks and ProPublica released an in depth look at the company’s dirty business (see previous blog the trash hauler came under intense scrutiny.

At the end of last month, Sanitation Salvage sent a letter to the Business Integrity Commission to announce that it had surrendered its license and was going out of business.

After years of exploiting workers and endangering New Yorkers, the company run by the ruthless and heavily politically connected Squitieri Brothers is finally going down. Street safety advocates, labor unions and elected officials are all celebrating the news.

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private garbage truck involved in New york fatal bicycle accident43 people have been killed in private garbage truck accidents in New York City since 2010. Barreling down the streets of New York City  with little to no respect for road regulations and for their surroundings, trash haulers gone rogue have become death threats on wheels for pedestrians and cyclists.  Running red lights, driving in reverse on one-way streets, speeding, drinking behind the wheel, New York commercial garbage truck drivers are involved in three times mores accidents than their peers in Los Angeles, Seattle or San Francisco according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Drivers are complaining that they are pushed to cut corners by their bosses who are assigning them routes that are too long to finish in the assigned time but New Yorkers have had enough of their dangerous behaviors.  Many have documented their erratic and dangerous behaviors on social media.

One week crack down

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garbage truckPrivate garbage truck companies are responsible for too many deadly truck accidents in New York City.  Since 2010 43 New Yorkers died after they were struck by a private dump trunk. Something has to be done to reduce these deadly accidents.

In New York the Business Integrity Commission (BIC) is in charge of overseeing this industry. BIC was created 20 years ago with the main purpose to run background checks to root out potential mob ties. The commission doesn’t have the legal power to impose safety standards for privately owned garbage trucks.

On  Monday, members of the Commission appeared in a hearing about the private trash hauling industry in front of the New York City Council. BIC Chair, Dan Brownel asked the Council to provide BIC with more authority so that the Commission has the legal power to enforce safety protocols.

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Sam Schwartz21 garbage truck accidents occurred in NYC between January 1st 2010 and December 31st 2014 according to data provided by the NYC DOT to Sam Schwartz Engineer for a study on private carting safety. The study is part of a larger analysis on the private carting industry that led to the announcement of the implementation of a new zoned-collection system by Mayor de Blasio’s administration (see Politico). The implementation of this system will significantly reduce the number of miles traveled by private garbage trucks  in New York City. As a result the air quality should improve significantly and garbage truck accidents should decrease.

According to Sam Schwartz private carting safety study, the severity of private garbage truck crashes is much higher than the severity of all NYC crashes with fatal and injury crashes accounting for 86% of all crashes. Pedestrians are involved in 36% of the crashes. Among the pedestrian crashes half of them occurred as the pedestrian was crossing with the signal.  Private garbage truck accidents happen mostly at night as most carting operations occur at night time. The study also include a safety analysis based on private carting company employees interviews. In regards to traffic safety, night time driving, bad weather and intoxicated pedestrians during week-end nights were considered the most challenging. Another traffic safety concern was to prevent injuries to pedestrians while backing up. The visibility being extremely reduced with such trucks, it is important that the helper provide accurate guidance to the truck driver while backing up. Employees were also asked about possible safety measures and proposed additional route supervisors, better fleet maintenance, improved driving techniques and providing specific driving courses, training on location and training on handling hazardous materials, additional safety meetings and stricter hiring criteria.

Hopefully when the new system is implemented, less miles traveled should lead to less people injured in traffic accidents involving garbage trucks.