New Slow Down to Get Around Law

Updated: Aug. 16, 2016



April 8, 2016
For Immediate Release

Kickoff Event to Raise Awareness about New Slow Down to Get Around Law


Slow Down to Get Around Law Protects Trash Collectors

The Slow Down to Get Around law says drivers must reduce their speed to at least 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit and pass at least two feet to the left of any stationary vehicle that is collecting trash or recycling.

To kick off a weeklong awareness campaign about the importance of the new Slow-Down-to-Get-Around law that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed in 2015, an event will take place in front of the Fairfax County Government Center at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 9. The event is intended to bring attention to an issue that Fairfax County’s Solid Waste Management Program takes very seriously:  the safety of its trash collection workers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, refuse and recyclable material collection is the fifth most dangerous job in the country, and transportation incidents are the cause of 40 percent of the injuries and fatalities.

In July 2015, Virginia signed HB 1649 into law, joining eight other states that have enacted Slow Down to Get Around legislation: Wisconsin, North Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan and Alabama. The new law, which carries a penalty of up to $250, says drivers must reduce their speed to at least 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit and pass at least two feet to the left of any stationary vehicle that is collecting trash or recycling.

"Fairfax County applauds Virginia's lawmakers for enacting Slow Down to Get Around," says John Kellas, director for the county's Solid Waste Management Program. "This law will save lives, prevent worker injuries, and makes the roads in our community safer. We hope that the media and our public safety partners will spread the word to ensure all motorists are aware of and observing the new law."

May 9 Event Details

  • Starting at 10 a.m., remarks from distinguished guests will be made.
  • A testimonial from a trash collector who was seriously injured by a passing car will be read. 
  • New safety lights and uniforms will be demonstrated.
  • Opportunities will be made to speak to principals in attendance and for photographs.
  • Light refreshments will be served and giveaways distributed.

David Biderman, CEO and executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, will deliver the keynote speech. Other speakers include:

  1. John Cook, Supervisor, Braddock District of Fairfax County
  2. John Foust, Supervisor, Dranesville District of Fairfax County
  3. David Biderman, Executive Director and CEO, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
  4. John Townsend II, Manager, Public & Government Affairs, AAA Mid-Atlantic
  5. Peter Nketia-Akonnor, Senior Safety and Health Officer, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI)
  6. Brian Truman, Enterprise Sales Director, Lytx (Drive Cam)

Campaign Details

The Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program will park a trash collection truck outfitted with a new safety light array in front of the Government Center for the duration of the week of May 9.  Solid Waste Management Program staff will attend the truck from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day to emphasize the issue of trash collector safety on the roads.

Video: Watch a one-minute public service announcement from the National Waste and Recycling Association that drives home the message about worker safety and the dangers of distracted driving.

For more information, please call Emergency Operations and Safety Program Manager Dennis Batts at 703-324-5057, TTY 711.  The Fairfax County Government Center is located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035.

Solid Waste Management Program (SWMP) Background

The SWMP provides for the orderly and efficient collection, transportation, recycling, and disposal of solid waste generated by residents and businesses in Fairfax County. The SWMP plans for the county’s long range waste management needs as required by the Code of Virginia, using a system that integrates all aspects of waste management to ensure overall public health and environmental protection.  In addition to managing one million tons of municipal solid waste annually, the SWMP provides emergency response services during natural or man-made disasters, as well as snow removal at some county-owned facilities.


Contact: Matthew Kaiser, Public Information Officer 
Department of Public Works and Environmental Services 
703-324-8455, TTY 711


Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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