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Beware Reckless Garbage Trucks in Greenwood

Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 8:30 pm News Flash Archive

The Taxpayers Channel this morning witnessed an incredibly dangerous and reckless incident involving a city of Greenwood garbage truck.

At 8:38 am this morning, just two blocks south of Bankston Elementary School, Greenwood garbage truck # 223 was observed backing at a high rate of speed through a 4 way stop intersection and then half-way up a city block at the corner of East Jeff Davis and Popular Street.

The garbage truck was engaged in a dangerous "turn and reverse" maneuver, in which a vehicle turns at an intersection, and then before clearing the intersection, immediately reverses course and backs back through the intersection and back up the cross street. This reckless driving is done to avoid having to go around the entire block to come back up the cross street in the proper manner.

The new automatic garbage trucks can only collect the garbage from the street-side garbage containers on the right-hand side of the vehicle. Garbage truck drivers are illegally backing up long distances to avoid having to go around the entire block to position their trucks correctly to collect the citizens' garbage.

The city garbage truck performed this dangerous turn and reverse at 20 to 25 mph. The city employee backed his vehicle through the intersection and then several hundred feet back up Poplar Street toward Bankston. Fortunately, there were no vehicles on the stretch of road he backed his multi-ton vehicle up.

Other drivers have not been so lucky. One driver told The Taxpayers Channel that several months ago, he was literally chased a full city block by a city garbage truck driving full speed in reverse on the other end of Poplar.

The driver said he was driving south on Poplar behind a garbage truck when, without warning, the garbage truck was thrown into reverse and bore down upon his vehicle at a high rate of speed. The driver honked frantically but the garbage truck did not stop. The driver reported he was able to back his car up as the garbage truck chased him back up the block. The driver was not injured.

A third incident two weeks ago was far worse. Brian Phillips was taking his 16 year old son Justin to school at 7:50 am Monday, September 26. The two were driving up East Park Avenue toward Grand Boulevard. As they approached the intersection with Poplar Street, Mr. Phillips observed city garbage truck # 221 stopped in the middle of the intersection. Phillips stopped his vehicle, and suddenly observed the garbage truck begin to back towards him from within the intersection. Phillips could not back away from the truck as there were cars behind him stopped already.

The garbage truck backed over the front of Phillips' brand new vehicle, crushing the grill, lights, and hood and doing around $5000 in damage, according to estimates he received.

The city's insurance carrier has refused to pay for the damages. Incredibly, the City has denied that the garbage truck backed over his vehicle, so Phillips is left to pay for his own vehicle's repair in part, as his own insurance will not pay the entire costs.

Public Works Director Susan Bailey told us this morning that the garbage truck drivers are told not to drive in reverse up city streets, but that some of them continue to do so.

The moral of the story is: if you see a city garbage truck on the streets, try to stay as far away from it as possible, because they have been known to run stop signs, red lights, and to back over unsuspecting citizens in their vehicles. And if they do, you may very well be on your own as far as getting your vehicle repaired.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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