Salmon Arm council is continuing its quest to put a stop to engine brakes within city limits.
Current and previous council members have heard complaints from residents about transport trucks using their Jake brakes on the hill as they approach the city from the east.
In October 2019, council received two letters complaining of the noise disturbing the letter writers in their homes as large trucks use engine brakes on Highway 1 between 30th Street NE and McGuire Lake.
Semi drivers who use those brakes generally do so to reduce the load on foundation brakes, which helps prevent overheating and significant wear. The city has a traffic bylaw that includes the prohibition of excessive noise.
Council urged the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to put up signage advising truckers to avoid using engine brakes and reminding them that excessive noise is prohibited.
That wish has come true.
At council’s Oct. 13 meeting, Staff Sgt. Scott West was on hand to make his quarterly report on the RCMP detachment and its work. Mayor Alan Harrison referred to an engine brakes sign that recently emerged along the Trans-Canada Highway near Salmon Arm GM.
“We’ve been working hard with highways to get the sign up and it’s up now. Residents have noticed it too and sent me photos of it… so that’s great for a start. How do we enforce it? That’s the question. Can you help me?” Harrison asked West.
West said the sign references the Motor Vehicle Act, so he can take the city’s request to the highway patrol unit which works out of Sicamous. He said he can request that they pay attention to it when they’re doing speed enforcement in the corridor.
Harrison said he thinks that would be much appreciated by residents who live nearby the source of the noise.
“Because I’m sure that you’re right, most of the truck drivers are very cognizant. But if it’s five per cent of 2,000 trucks a day, that’s a lot of trucks. Especially in the evening… I’ve sat down there and it is pretty loud…”
West agreed. “It resonates, just like from my house, and the train.”