Engine Braking Truck Drivers May Soon Be Fined In Marion Township
October 13, 2017
Trucks in Marion Township may soon be subject to getting a ticket if they continue to use an alternative and noisy method of braking.
There is no state law against engine braking in Michigan so it is up to individual municipalities to put a stop to it if they find it getting to be nuisance. Marion Township Supervisor Bob Hanvey shared what he knew about the controversial maneuver. Hanvey said that it comes from a device mounted in the engine that controls a valve that, when activated by the driver in the cabin, converts exhaust into a way to reduce engine speed.The problem comes from the louder noise that engine braking creates as opposed to the sound a truck makes using its conventional brakes. Trustee Dan Lowe said that the purpose of engine braking is to keep brakes from overheating when going down mountains, and thus there is no reason to do it in Michigan. He pointed out four areas in Marion Township where it is especially problematic. He identified D-19, Francis Road, Norton Road, and Cedar Lake as being the worst spots for noise pollution. Lowe proposed that drivers caught engine braking be fined $500. There was concern that illegal engine braking has been a tough case to uphold in court in other areas of the country. As such, the Board of Trustees voted to send the matter to the Planning Commission to write up specific language for a general ordinance. (MK)