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Trustees asked to ban jake brakes

HEBRON- A Union Township resident, who’s tired of having his windows rattled by trucks’ engine brakes, asked the Union Township Trustees if they could do anything to stop the noise.

Bill Garrett, who lives near the intersection of Ohio 37 and US 40, told the trustees Monday night that trucks are using loud engine brakes to slow down as they approach the busy intersection. The noise, said Garrett, disturbs the people who live near the intersection. “A lot of guys are running empty. They just want to make noise,” he said.

Garrett said that when he approached the Ohio Department of Transportation about the situation, he was told he needed to contact the trustees and ask them if they could place a sign near the intersection to ban the use of engine brakes.

Trustee Jack Justice said he wasn’t sure why the trustees needed to be contacted in regard to a state highway, but said he’d look into the situation.

Tuesday, ODOT District 5 Spokesman Jim Spain said the noise issue is being created by trucks using Ohio 37 as a detour for the Ohio 161 expansion project to the north. He said ODOT is not a law enforcement agency and doesn’t have the legal ability to pass ordinances that would restrict the use of things like engine brakes. The roadway’s governing body, in this case the township trustees, would need to pass an ordinance that could be enforced by the sheriff’s department and the highway patrol. “Once an ordinance is passed, local law enforcement could monitor and issue citations as needed,” said Spain.

Engine brakes use a truck engine’s natural piston compression as resistance to slow the truck. While they save wear and tear on the truck’s standard brakes, engine brakes are loud and banned in many residential areas. They are called “Jake” brakes because many of the brakes are built by Jacobs Vehicle Systems, Inc.

In other township news: The township is holding a special meeting Monday, July 30, 7 p.m. at the township hall to discuss a zoning change from general business to light manufacturing – for possible warehouse facilities – on a parcel of property near National Trail Raceway, east of the Buckeye Executive Airport on Refugee Road and north of US 40.

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