lawmakers are pushing two separate proposals that would allow restrictions on
the use of engine brakes in the state.
two bills – SB534 in the Senate and HB2497 in the House – would permit counties
to post signs that prohibit the use of engine brakes that make “excessive
Both bills would
allow truckers to use an engine brake if it is properly muffled so that it does
not exceed noise limits, and both would allow use of an engine brake in an
emergency situation, which the bills define as needing to brake to “avoid a collision
with a person or another vehicle.”
Sen. Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, sponsored the Senate version, while Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Freeport, introduced the
Department of Transportation would set up the rules for how and where the signs
could be set up. However, the wording is set in the bills. The signs would be
required to say: “Excessive engine braking noise prohibited.” Both bills would
charge a $75 fine against truckers who commit engine brake violations.
the bill does not define what would constitute “excessive noise.”
hearing is scheduled on both of the bills Tuesday, March 1.
House Transportation and Motor Vehicles Committee will hear
testimony regarding HB2497 at 2 p.m. March 1. The Senate Transportation Committee will meet to hear
testimony on SB534 at 2:30 p.m. the same day. Both hearings will
take place in the Illinois Capitol building in Springfield.
Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, said that if the state had concerns
about noise, officials should write a law that addresses that and doesn’t
unnecessarily impede use of a required safety device.
simply focus on an engine brake makes no sense whatsoever; that’s not the
issue,” he said.
this is an issue for the Legislature, then they need to focus on what the real
issue is, and that’s how much a noise a truck makes. If it makes too much noise,
whether it’s stopping or starting, it could be the subject of enforcement.
Whether or not the truck is equipped with an engine brake is irrelevant to the
– By Mark H. Reddig, associate editor