bills that would restrict usage of engine brakes continue their rapid flight
through the Illinois General Assembly.
Both bills – SB534 and HB2497 – have each passed out of one
chamber and are now before the other. Both have racked up impressive majorities
in passing. SB534 was approved by the Senate 54-1; HB2497 passed the House
two bills would permit counties or cities to post signs that prohibit the use
of an engine brake that makes “excessive noise,” but does not define what
constitutes excessive noise.
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 brake use 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.
Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, said that if the state has concerns
about noise, it 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 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