Engine brake restriction bill dies in Indiana

| Tuesday, February 07, 2006

An effort in the Indiana General Assembly to further restrict where large trucks can use their engine brakes has died.

A bill that would have allowed local authorities to adopt ordinances prohibiting the use of compression engine release brakes on highways in their jurisdictions remained in committee Feb. 2, missing the deadline to advance.

Sponsored by Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, the measure – SB137 – would have extended 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.

The bill would not have prohibited truck drivers from using their engine brakes if their vehicles’ service brake systems fail.

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

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

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