Biffa has said its work with Staffordshire Police has increased prosecutions of people driving on pavements to avoid refuse trucks.
The company says its household waste collection teams are reporting around 3,000 incidents of reckless driving a month across the UK. It has recorded CCTV footage of some such incidents.
As the company accounts for about 10% of household collections, it assumes that 30,000 incidents take place each month in total.
To raise awareness, Biffa has launched its ’Driving Recklessly on Pavements’ (DROPs) campaign.
Police in Staffordshire processed 315 incidents of pedestrian injury or fatality on streets and pavements during 2015.
In 2013, before this issue was officially recognised, police figures showed that only 6% of reports of dangerous driving were investigated, with even fewer leading to prosecution.
Biffa said it has been trying to redress this through collaboration with the police, clearer high-vis markings, resident awareness campaigns and fitting its trucks with 360 degree cameras to record incidents of dangerous driving.
Since a new prosecution system was introduced by Biffa and Staffordshire Police, recent figures show a marked improvement, with 100 of 300 incidents of reckless driving reported by Biffa leading to prosecution of drivers.
Head of health and safety Lawrence Emerson said: “The issue is far, far, greater than the industry or the public could ever possibly imagine.
“I joined Biffa in 2015 from an aviation background, so I am used to high-risk workplaces. When I went out with our crews on their collections, my jaw was on the floor – I could not believe what I was seeing and the danger the crews were facing every day due to reckless drivers.
“The careless behaviour of drivers has been accepted by our staff as part of the job. Until recently, they rarely reported such incidents to their managers, let alone the police.”
Karen McDonnell, occupational safety adviser at the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents, said: “Driving on the footway or pavement is an offence under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 and is also prohibited by rule 145 of the Highway Code.”