Ensuring children’s curiosity around garbage trucks doesn’t lead to any harm

Waste Management provides summer tips for children
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Lots of kids love to wave at the garbage truck each week. While Waste Management loves to entertain the kids while on their routes, they want them to stay safe.

“If you see a garbage truck, red flags should be going up. Almost treat it like a school bus,” District Manager Jermaine McFadden said.

Just Monday, state police said a distracted driver rear-ended a sanitation truck, severely injuring an employee in Jefferson Parish.

It’s another reason Waste Management is reminding drivers to keep a safe distance. McFadden said drivers must remember trucks make frequent stops, and don’t stop as quickly as a regular vehicle.

“People do have the tendency when they see a garbage truck to say- “hey let’s go around.” I would avoid that. Just be on the lookout because there’s somebody on the back of that truck that’s working,” McFadden said.

McFadden said children are running outside to wave at garbage crews everyday. With more kids spending time outside during the summer, he said they’ve put an emphasis on safety precautions.

“If we pull into a neighborhood and there’s four kids, we don’t move the truck if we lose track of one of those kids. We want to make sure everyone is accounted for before our truck pulls off,” McFadden said.

Although the drivers are trained to be aware of their surroundings, there are some things that parents can do to ensure their kids are safe.

“Keep your kids away from trash cans, we have had incidents where kids are hiding behind the trash cans,” McFadden said.

He said the drivers look forward to seeing kids waving to them when they come by, but they are keeping everybody’s safety as their top priority.

“If they want to wave, be there with them. It may not seem dangerous, but a garbage truck is very very dangerous so please be mindful of that,” McFadden said.

McFadden also said each truck is equipped with a back-up alarm, so whether you’re walking or driving by, you should be able to hear when you need to move out of the way.

Here’s a full list of summer safety tips provided by Waste Management:

• Keep at least 15 feet from the truck. Never climb on the truck. Do not play or stand in or around waste and recycling bins or cans, since you may not know when the truck is coming to empty them.

• Learn the schedule of when service vehicles are in the area. Waste and recycling trucks, postal vehicles and other package delivery services keep regular schedules within each neighborhood.

• It takes service vehicles about twice as long to stop as a passenger car, so never cut in front of or stop suddenly in front of one. Always keep a safe distance from a truck.

• Do not allow children to help with loading any materials into the truck and do not stand behind the truck while it is being loaded. Be cautious of debris that may be dislodged during compacting.

• Vehicles like Waste Management trucks make frequent stops and often back up, so don’t follow the truck closely while walking, running, biking, skating, or driving. Stay alert and listen for the back-up alarm with “beep-beep-beep” sounds.

• There are several areas where the visibility can be restricted for the driver. If you cannot see the driver’s eyes, they may not see you.

• Every Waste Management truck is equipped with a back-up alarm. Whether you are walking or driving near one of our trucks, if you hear this sound or see the white back-up lights, be sure to move out of the way of the truck.

Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.