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June 18, 2012

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Safe driving campaign to protect refuse workers

Biffa has joined forces with a local council and the Police to launch an awareness campaign to urge drivers to be patient and drive safely when they encounter refuse workers and collection vehicles.

Biffa has contracts to collect recycling and refuse with more than 40 local councils in the UK, and last year it reported more than 1000 near-miss incidents caused by bad driving by members of the public. The firm recorded 400 injuries, and 12 members of staff were struck by vehicles.

The company has partnered with South Staffordshire Council and local Police to launch the initiative, which asks local drivers to be patient, tolerant and safe with they come across workers and their vehicles out collecting rubbish.

Biffa business manager Matt Bailey revealed that there were 104 dangerous-driving incidents reported by Biffa crews in South Staffordshire last year. These included people driving too fast and too close to get round collection vehicles. He commented that drivers wouldn’t behave in such a dangerous and irresponsible manner if they approached a bus that was dropping off school-children, or the elderly.

“My crews are only trying to do their job,” added Bailey. “That’s what local residents want and expect them to do. All we ask is for some consideration by other road users. Our vehicles don’t hold up traffic for long, and drivers are usually soon on their way, so it really isn’t necessary to get impatient, frustrated, or angry.”

Councillor Joan Williams, the cabinet member for environmental services at South Staffordshire Council, also urged the public to remain patient when they encounter bin crews. She said: “We try to make sure that they collect at the most convenient time and we always try to avoid busy roads and areas around schools at rush hour, whenever we can. But, sometimes, traffic can get held up, so all we’re asking is for people to stay calm, let the crews do their jobs, and they’ll soon be on their way.”€

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11 years ago

How about the Police prosecuting a few of these poor drivers for driving without due care and attention. When drivers appear in the local press, moaning they’ve been prosecuted for cutting up a RCV crew, the message will get across that it’s not socially acceptable.
Motorists use roads by privilage not right.
I used to do HGV driver training and used to specifically include a route that I knew was a bin-round. The clues to the hazard are very visible; bins and refuse sacks at the roadside.

11 years ago

Presumably the application of safe driving extends to the refuse vehicle as well, given recent events where refuse vehicles have reversed over pedestrians, and reversing alarms have been switched off, thus causing a fatality?

Amazing how they fail to mention stats for their employees poor driving?

The wearing of Hi Vis does not make people indestructable, yet may behave like superman, unfortunately few are able to stop a moving vehicle though?