City Council members have adopted a new law banning the use of dynamic brakes in Edmond.
Council member Elizabeth Waner was contacted by several residents regarding the use of engine brakes by large trucks on Covell west of Interstate 35, according to background from the city. The Edmond Police Department also has received complaints regarding the noise caused by the use of these brakes more commonly known as Jake Brakes.
Jake Brake is a registered trademark of Jacobs Vehicle Systems.
Pursuant to Waner’s request, the approved ordinance prohibits the use of dynamic braking devices. It defines a dynamic braking device as “a device on a motor vehicle, primarily on trucks, for the conversion of the engine from an internal combustion engine to an air compressor for the purpose of braking without the use of wheel brakes.”
The only exceptions are if a vehicle avoids imminent danger or in case of wheel brake failure.
Barry Black, a resident who lives in the vicinity of Covell and Coltrane, an intersection at the bottom of two hills, said over the years truck traffic at that spot has increased along with their speed and the noise when they brake.
“It is a window-rattling, wake-you-from-your-sleep type of noise and it’s becoming more and more frequent,” Black said.
Accidents involving trucks and other vehicles also have occurred in the area, Black said. He asked council members to approve the ordinance.
Several other citizens spoke in support of banning the braking devices.
Waner and Mayor Charles Lamb said this is not a new subject. Lamb said this type of braking is pretty loud, and he has received complaints from residents regarding the issue.
The new ordinance will take effect 30 days from July 14. The penalty for violations will be $249.
On its website, Jacobs Vehicle Systems says its braking device lowers operating costs, allows faster trip times, enhances vehicle control and improves driver retention.
“The real problem here is that there are a few trucks that are illegally modified or have defective exhaust systems that has triggered the community’s reaction,” the company says.
The federal government has required all vehicles manufactured since 1978 to meet noise requirements when delivered to the customer. Trucks are required to emit less than 809 a-weighted decibels when they drive by as measured at 50 feet.
According to Jacobs Vehicle Systems, there is a good chance bothersome trucks are running with straight stacks or gutted mufflers. Some are poorly maintained vehicles; some drivers simply enjoy making noise, the company states.
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