The Iowa Department of Transportation is concerned about the growing number
of towns that have or are considering banning truck engine brakes. Officials
believe that ordinances banning the brakes create roadway hazards.
Michael Winfrey, director of IDOT's Motor Vehicle Enforcement Unit, says
that the brakes are safety devices, and banning them creates potential hazards
and forces truckers to use other brake systems that don't work as quickly
as compression brakes.
City leaders in communities like Clinton and Oskaloosa complain that engine
brakes, such as Jake Brakes, are too noisy and have outlawed their use. Other
towns like Pleasant Hill are considering a ban.
The ordinance being considered in Pleasant Hill could fine truckers $100
for using the brakes within city limits, according to the Des Moines Register.
Emergency vehicles would be allowed to continue using the compression brakes.
"I think if citizens were aware that the city council wants to take
safety devices away from truckdrivers, there would be some concern,"
Scott Weiser, president of the Iowa Motor Carrier Truck Association, told
the newspaper. He suggested that city officials enforce noise ordinances instead
of banning the brakes. Properly muffled brakes do not make an excessive amount