A Kansas law took effect this month requiring motorist to use caution around garbage trucks by making driver carelessness a fineable offense. Joining 18 other states in adopting this particular law, a ticket will cost an offender $45 starting July 1, 2019. Until then, police will hand out warnings.
Motorists are required to treat stopped garbage trucks with “due caution,” meaning they must slow down when nearing the truck and give it space when passing. Exactly what constitutes “due caution” will depend on the given circumstances and the judgment of the enforcing police officer. The same standards are in place for emergency vehicles.
Kansas traffic laws generally require drivers to adjust their speed and tactics for road conditions and weather to remain safe. The state Supreme Court ruled in 1970 that a driver must exercise “ordinary care and caution” to avoid accidents. In the case of the new law, drivers are likely to get pulled over if they “buzz right by at their normal speed” when a garbage truck is present, said state House Transportation Committee Chairman Richard Proehl, a Parsons Republican.