What can be done to ensure private garbage truck drivers operate their vehicles safely?
Recently, a 43-year-old cyclist was hit and seriously injured by a private garbage truck. The accident happened in Midtown in the nighttime hours and left the cyclist with injuries to both arms. Sadly, this accident is just the most recent in a series of accidents involving private sanitation trucks. Over the past two years, more than 20 people have been killed by private garbage trucks. In the wake of these sanitation truck incidents, the NYPD is calling for a crackdown on private garbage trucks. Our NYC car and truck accident attorneys explore the recent garbage truck accidents and what can be done to keep the public safe below.
Drunk Drivers and Unsafe Sanitation Trucks
Garbage trucks often weigh in at 50,000 pounds. These massive vehicles hold the potential to inflict immense damage to people, cars, and buildings in their wake. In one of the most egregious sanitation truck accidents in recent years, an intoxicated private garbage truck driver hit a half a dozen cars due to its intoxicated driver. In other incidents, private trucks were caught speeding down one way streets and several pedestrians have been hit.
City Conducts Safety Checks
In response to these accidents, the NYPD has launched an investigation on private sanitation trucks. The city is performing spot safety inspections on vehicles, and already massive violations have been found. Just one private truck alone was uncovered to have violations for low air pressure, multiple fluid leaks, and faulty brakes. Another vehicle lacked a working horn, while another was in such bad shape it has been banned from operation entirely.
In just a one-week span, the Motor Carrier Safety Unit has issued 515 moving violations and 555 criminal court summons. Seventeen trucks have been ordered out of service. These alarming results indicate a tremendous and likely long standing problem in the city with private sanitation companies prioritizing their profits over public safety. Private garbage companies are big business in and around New York City, but now city officials are sending a strong message that driver and truck safety cannot be ignored any longer. With continued action by law enforcement, garbage truck companies should conform to newly enforced standards. Anyone who is injured by a private sanitation truck should consult with a personal injury lawyer right away to protect their legal rights.