Sydney CBD experiences a rise in incidents between pedestrians and waste removal vehicles

Published on 10th December 2020

During the course of a recent 12-month period the Sydney CBD has suffered an increase in incidents involving pedestrians and waste removal trucks.

The Situation

Sydney CBD experiences a rise in incidents between pedestrians and waste removal vehicles.

On 12 February 2020 a pedestrian was tragically killed when they were struck and dragged by a commercial waste truck as it reversed into a narrow laneway at 1:30am. The incident received extensive coverage in the NSW media. Although this was not a BINGO INDUSTRIES vehicle, our drivers often carry out work in the same area and they knew the driver involved. BINGO drivers expressed their concerns about the heightened risk posed to pedestrians due to a lack of visibility from their driver cabins and widespread pedestrian mobile phone use.

The Solutions

The SEQ team consulted with drivers to better understand visibility issues. Pedestrians were also surveyed to gain further insight and understanding.  

The SEQ team assessed a number of inner-city laneways, carefully observing drivers and truck movements as they completed jobs while also taking note of general pedestrian behaviour.

BINGO’s C&I trucks have received upgrades, including extra alarms and lights, to improve visibility for drivers and greatly enhance pedestrian awareness.

Driver feedback is that the upgrades have improved visibility, while pedestrians reported increased awareness of trucks at night due to the alarms and lights.

BINGO SAFETY … keep original as stated by “Jim Sarkis”
Bingo Industries


“We saw the potential for there to be more incidents in this area and we wanted to be proactive in preventing future incidents and addressing the risk for our drivers and members of the public."

Jim Sarkis, Chief Safety, Environment & Quality Officer

What did BINGO do?

Through carrying out a detailed risk assessment BINGO was able to improve safety for C&I trucks operating in the CBD at night 

BINGO's Safety & Quality Manager and Commercial Driver Team Leader undertook a risk assessment via ride-a-long with the night shift commercial drivers. The process of assessment included visiting several bin exchange sites in the city. The Safety & Quality Manager observed the process of servicing a bin by viewing the truck from the front and rear while the truck was reversing. They also sat in the passenger seat with the driver to observe the driver’s visibility and actions while the truck was being reversed.

The team noted the large amount of traffic in the area, even in the early hours of the morning. Laneways were often cul-de-sacs requiring the trucks to reverse to bin locations. The majority of pedestrians were observed to be using mobile phones. Drivers had to be on high alert for pedestrian traffic, often having to stop the truck to
allow pedestrians to get to a safe distance before continuing operations. Illumination in laneways was generally poor and sometimes trucks had to be left running while bins were manually pushed up to 50 metres in order to be serviced.

From these observations, three key risk factors were identified:
  1. Driver inattention
  2. Pedestrian distraction
  3. Inadequate vision

Proposed Controls
To address these risk factors, BINGO implemented several safety improvements:
  • An extra independent reversing camera as a backup if the first camera failed 
  • Extra side lights to increase the driver’s visibility 
  • White lights at the rear of the truck to provide pedestrians with an early warning that something was approaching
  • A speaking reversing alarm to increase pedestrian awareness. 

A trial was conducted where two BINGO trucks were fitted with these improvements, including a survey of feedback from both drivers and pedestrians. The response from pedestrians was that the white light alerted them to the reversing truck well in advance and significantly improved its visibility. Drivers reported considerable improvements to visibility along the sides and rear of the truck. BINGO has retrofitted all C&I trucks with these additional safety features, following the strict company policy of safety first that is a foundational principle guiding our interaction with the community in which we operate and live.   
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