Indiana bill would restrict usage of engine brakes

| 1/6/2006

If an Indiana state lawmaker gets his way, large trucks traveling through the state would face further restrictions on where they can use their engine brakes.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, has offered legislation that would allow a local authority to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the use of compression engine release brakes on a highway that is under the authority’s jurisdiction. The bill would not prohibit truck drivers from using the engine brakes if the vehicle’s service brakes system fails.

The local authority’s power to ban engine brakes would not apply to any highway or street in the state highway system.

Any authority adopting the local ordinance would be required to post signs at each end of an affected highway alerting drivers of the ban.

If approved, it would extend the state’s prohibition on engine brakes. Existing Indiana law bans the brakes’ use on the Indiana Toll Road in counties with populations between 145,000 and 148,000, namely Porter County , east of Gary .

SB137 has been referred to the Senate Commerce and Transportation Committee.