Truck brakes rattle Bainbridge Islander

The in basket: Leslie Kelly, who lives about a mile past the Agate Pass Bridge on Bainbridge Island, writes, “OK. So I bought a house that sits just off Highway 305. And I’ve learned to make like the highway noise is the ocean. But why do I have to put up with the tsunami of trucks using their compression brakes? I thought they were illegal. Why isn’t that enforced by the State Patrol or Bainbridge Island police?

The out basket: Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matt Hamner referred the question to Detective Sergeant Scott Weiss of his department, who says, “Compression brakes are not per se illegal.  Here is the state law:  It says in part, “ An engine compression brake device is any device that uses the engine and transmission to impede the forward motion of the motor vehicle by compression of the engine.
The driver of a motor vehicle equipped with a device that uses the compression of the motor vehicle engine shall not use the device unless the motor vehicle is equipped with an operational muffler and exhaust system to prevent excess noise. A muffler is part of an engine exhaust system which acts as a noise dissipative device.”

“The City Ordinance is 10.28,” Scott said, “which again only makes compression brakes illegal if they do not have a muffler. I have not heard any illegal (no muffler or exhaust system for it).

“A citizen may really be hearing a truck use a legal compression brake but one without a muffler system would be extremely, abnormally loud.

“We would certainly enforce/address any illegal equipment violations as we come across them. Over the years I believe that we have had a few illegal Jake or compression brake violations but they have been very few in number, probably only a handful in 10-15 years.”


One thought on “Truck brakes rattle Bainbridge Islander

  1. You know people out there dont understand the importance of a trucks Jake Brakes. If they didnt have them, they would not be able to brake very well when the trucks have a heavy load. Like most vehicles out there with a smart driver, they use their transmissions to help slow their speed down and not their brakes. Same goes for smaller vehicles on the road, if the drivers of cars and small trucks learned how to use their transmissions to slow them down and not their brakes, then they would not have all that brake dust on the front rims and they would not burn through rotors every years or their front end wont shake. Nothing cracks me up more than to watch someone going down a hill with their brake lights on. Just stupid. Anyways if a Semi truck just relied strictly on their brakes to slow down or stop their brakes would literally catch on fire. Ever get behind a semi and smell their brakes burning. That is from ordinances that dont allow them to use their jakes and that what causes a lot of their accidents, because their brakes get to hot and they glass over and become slick and dont work. Then the truck is down for repairs and guess what, the cost of those repairs are not paid buy the operator or even the company, it will be added into a cost that the consumer pays for merchandise. Just a little FYI. So that little bit of noise from a Semi is very important. But now here is my question. Does the writer see a Semi truck using their Jakes, or is that sounds they hear some jacked up 4X4 with the modified muffler or no muffler and a 6 inch exhaust coming out the top of their bed, just billowing black smoke all over the cars behind them. When those idiots do that to their trucks and step on the gas it makes the same sound as a Jake brake. And speaking of those trucks, can anyone answer the question of why those trucks are allowed to do that. I thought this state was all about preventing pollution and hugging trees but there is no law against exhaust pipes that put out pollution. Either it is allowed or the troopers dont care. Either way in my opinion it looks stupid. They hit the gas and try to go fast and all it does is make more smoke and they go nowhere because the trucks lost their power with the big pipes, so the people around those trucks have to deal with the smoke and the noise. So back to the original topic about Jakes. Be glad they have them. It allows them to slow down with less effort. You people always wonder why are your precious backroads the traffic is backed up behind a semi, it is because they have to drive slower when they are not allowed to use their Jakes.

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