Reckless Endangerment, a report by Transform Don’t Trash NYC and Transportation Alternatives, details how New York City’s private sanitation companies operate garbage trucks with high rates of faulty brakes, bad tires, broken signals, and unsecured cargo, which endanger workers, pedestrians, and other street users.

U.S. Department of Transportation violation records of the largest sanitation companies operating in New York City show that 48% of garbage trucks were deemed unsafe to operate and were taken out of service as a result. This is more than double the national average for commercial trucks. The high number of unsafe sanitation vehicles on New York City streets undermines Vision Zero, New York City’s initiative to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries on New York City streets.

The report also finds that 96% of the safety violations committed in the past two years by the largest haulers in NYC were concerning vehicle maintenance, while only 3% were related to driver fitness and 1% were related to unsafe driving. Sanitation workers interviewed by researchers said that their complaints of unsafe trucks go unheard.

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