Paris takes another step toward banning engine braking

Residents within earshot of Highway 45 and Highway 142 in Paris take heed: The Paris Town Board took another step toward banning engine braking within the town.

On Tuesday, the Town Board took state-required action to set the locations of signs giving notice of the engine braking ban. The town had already passed an ordinance in 2018 banning the practice.

Now with the latest action, the town can submit to have the state tell the town exactly where the signs should be located. Then the county will erect the signs, said town Chairman John Holloway.

A Wikipedia article on engine brakes, also known as Jacob or Jake brakes, explains:

The use of compression release engine brakes may cause a vehicle to make a loud chattering or “machine gun/jackhammer-like” exhaust noise, especially vehicles having high flow mufflers, or no mufflers at all, causing many communities in the United States, Canada and Australia to prohibit compression braking within municipal limits.”

The problem is primarily seen — or heard — on Highways 45 and 142, and has increased with construction traffic related to the Foxconn development in Racine county.

“Primarily (Paris residents) are concerned about the gravel trucks that pass through the town,” Holloway said.

State regulations call for the signs to be located as close as possible to the municipal boundaries. State officials have indicated in Paris’ case they will likely by near Highway KR and Highway K for Highway 45 and near 216th Avenue and 128th Avenue for Highway 142, Holloway said.

Enforcement of such an ordinance can be problematic, but Holloway said state officials have told him that once the signs are posted truckers tend to comply.


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