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)

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.

Just Posted

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Hot and cold water have different pouring sounds

Your morning start for Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Vernon Courthouse. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Sentencing delayed in North Okanagan child pornography case

Man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography will have new sentence date fixed next week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Most Read