The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

July 9, 2014

Danville council will study ban on engine brakes

DANVILLE — Borough Council members will look into whether Danville can ban engine brakes.

The discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting began with Mayor Bernie Swank saying a resident along Water Street complained about engine brakes from trucks at 4 in the morning along Route 54 and on the Danville-Riverside Bridge.

Engine brakes, or jake brakes, are used to slow down large vehicles.

Councilman John Rodman said the borough could ask PennDOT to have jake brakes prohibited along Route 54 since it’s a state highway.

Riverside and Mahoning Township have jurisdiction over the bridge.

Rodman said other towns have posted signs banning use of jake brakes.

“I don’t see that that would be a problem in densely populated areas,” he said of a ban.

Police Chief Eric Gill said the council had discussed the issue about five years ago after residents in the First Ward complained about the brakes. At that time, Gill consulted the borough association’s website for a model of rules and ordinances and wasn’t able to find any.

“We could ask for the whole borough,” Rodman said of a potential ban of the jake brakes throughout Danville.

Borough Fire Chief Chris Dickinson suggested emergency vehicles be eliminated from such a ban. “It’s all about safety,” Dickinson said.

He said jake brakes do help rigs slow down.

“We haven’t had too many problems with tractor trailers on Route 54  and Route 11,” he said.

Council President Scott Richardson asked the street committee to investigate the matter of jake brakes and report its findings to the council.

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