Two letters written to Salmon Arm city council called for signs prohibiting the use of engine brakes on the eastside of Salmon Arm. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm)

Salmon Arm residents urge ban on use of Jake brakes in city

Concerns brought to attention of city council, decision on signs up to ministry

Two Salmon Arm residents have heard the rumble of an engine brake a few too many times.

The issue was brought up at the Salmon Arm city council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Two separate letters were received by council suggesting signs be erected to lower speed limits and prohibit the use of the braking system within city limits. According to Robert Niewenhuizen, director of engineering and public works, the city does not have any signs addressing the issue. The city does have a traffic bylaw that prohibits the use of engine brakes within its boundary.

Read more: RCMP treating truck fire at horse rescue as arson

Read more: VIDEO: Dramatic dashcam video shows semi truck roll-over in Abbotsford

Commonly known as a Jake brake or Jacobs brake, the engine braking system essentially transforms an engine into a giant air compressor. The brake works by opening the exhaust valve at the top of the engine’s compression stroke, letting out air before it can be compressed and send the piston back down to generate power to the crankshaft. Without a muffler, this release of air is what can create sounds between 96 and 101 decibels – a typical rock concert can reach up to 110-115 decibels.

While noisy, the braking system is an effective way of slowing down the vehicle on long downhills. Using the engine brake reduces the load on foundation brakes which helps prevent overheating and significant wear.

Debbie Lovestone lives in Burlington Heights, an apartment complex less than 200 meters away from the Trans-Canada Highway in Salmon Arm. Lovestone wrote the noise created by the use of Jake brakes wakes her up on a nightly basis.

“The truckers seem to be surprised in the reduction of speed halfway down the curved hill between McDonald’s and the new Marriott hotel. This is the place where they seem to engage their Jake brakes,” Lovestone wrote.

In the letter Lovestone called for the erection of signs that would read “Residential area, use of Jake brakes prohibited.”

The company that produces the engine brake, Jacobs Vehicle Systems, recommends that if signs are to be implemented in communities they should read ‘Unmuffled engine brake use prohibited except emergency’ to avoid trademark infringement.

Read more: Semi truck stuck, then unloaded, on Salmon Arm’s Shoemaker Hill switchback

Read more: Kamloops man hangs on to back of stolen truck as suspect speeds away, crashes

Ruby Lipscomb wrote to council requesting a similar prohibitive sign be placed in the same area of the city.

“Trucks coming into the city from the east are often able to keep up a steady speed until they are going down the long hill to the city centre,” Lipscomb wrote. “This loud, abrasive noise can be heard for a long way along the highway and down the valley.”

Councillor Sylvia Lindgren agreed with the letters. mentioning her visiting family members noticed the noise and would appreciate hearing it less.

A statement provided by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure explains that a request for advisory signs to avoid using engine brakes along a provincial roadway in a residential area is processed through the local ministry office. The ministry will assess the location to determine if advisory signs are warranted.

“These signs are challenging to enforce because they are advisory in nature. An officer would need to prove that the noise being produced by the engine was unnecessary as per 7A.01 of the Motor Vehicle Act. The infraction carries a $109 fine,” the statement read.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shuswap landfills an alternative to open burning

Free yard and garden waste disposal remain available during burn restrictions related to COVID-19

Neighbours surprise and move Shuswap health-care worker with their appreciations

Residents in subdivision greet neighbour on return from work at Salmon Arm hospital

Shuswap parents told learning during school shutdown won’t replicate classroom

School district states home learning will look different for every child and every family

Salmon Arm Legion starts GoFundMe campaign to help cover bills during closure

Revenue from canteen, closed due to COVID-19, essential to keeping hall operational

Salmon Arm businesses close, adjust in response to COVID-19 crisis

Groups united behind the scenes to support needs of community

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

New rules issued for B.C. construction projects, work camps for COVID-19

Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada, Trans Mountain and Site C carry on

COVID-19: Okanagan community delivers essentials and smiles

Groceries, pharmacy, kids and pet items to be delivered daily

More school tools unveiled for Okanagan students

One district provides home learning resources

‘Critical’ shortage of personal protective equipment: Kelowna physician

Dr. Janneme Frouws made a call out for donations of PPE to frontline health-care workers

Kelowna man facing charges after allegedly assaulting bus driver

The incident occurred at the Queensway bus route in Kelowna just after 4:30 p.m. on March 28

WATCH: Okanagan Indian Band Elder offers prayer amid COVID-19

‘We’re having a hard time right now,’ Elder says

Okanagan Telus customers’ service interrupted

Equipment failure caused a service disruption in parts of Western Canada Tuesday

Most Read