There has been an increase in the number of bin lorries being hit by vehicles in Newcastle.
Video footage collected by the Borough Council shows numerous incidents of careless driving, including cars mounting pavements and narrowly missing waste operatives, in order to get around the collection vehicles in the road.
All of the Council’s waste collection vehicles are fitted with four video cameras which record the working shift. Any footage which shows dangerous driving, collisions with vehicles or waste collectors is handed to Staffordshire Police to support potential prosecutions.
Councillor Trevor Johnson, Cabinet member with responsibility for environment and recycling, said: “We are proud of the work that our waste operatives do and treat any risk of injury to them very seriously. They should be protected from harm whilst doing their job.
“Most drivers are considerate and cautious when they are near our waste collection vehicles, which is the safest course of action for all.
“The careless behaviour of some drivers and the dangers they create for our staff will always be reported to Staffordshire Police.”
The Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highways Act 1935 determine what constitutes an offence under United Kingdom motoring law:
• Causing death by dangerous driving can result in 14 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving.
• Dangerous driving can result in two years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving.
• Driving on the pavement is an offence under the Highways Act and is also prohibited by rule 145 of the Highway Code.
Hundreds of drivers have already been processed with offending drivers being dealt with in a variety of ways:
• a fine and fixed penalty points.
• being reported for summons for driving recklessly and/or without due care and attention.
• attending a driving education course.
Injuries and deaths in the waste sector are not uncommon. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the UK’s regulator for workplace health and safety, has previously branded the industry as ‘one of the most dangerous’ sectors to work in. The sector has one of the highest rates of worker fatalities, at 16 times the average across all industries.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council advises all drivers to be patient when approaching or passing refuse collection vehicles and only pass when it is safe to do so - remaining on the road at all times.