Illinois cracks down on excessive use of noisy engine brakes

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A new Illinois law is now in effect that allows jurisdictions to crack down on the unnecessary use of “jake” brakes without a sufficient muffler system, according to the Mid-West Truckers Association.

A county or municipality may post signs that prohibit the driver of a commercial vehicle from operating or actuating any engine braking system that emits excessive noise; the sign shall state “Excessive Engine Braking Noise Prohibited.” The law does not apply to the use of an engine braking system that has an adequate sound muffling system in proper working order to prevent excessive noise.

A violation of the law is an equipment violation that could be punishable by a $75 fine, according to the association; however, a driver may legally use an engine braking system that emits excessive noise in an emergency to avoid a collision with a person or another vehicle on the highway.