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City threatens truckers with jail for use of Jake brakes

Truckers provide an invaluable service by transporting raw materials and goods across the country. Nevertheless, the operation of these commercial vehicles is not without risks, and engineers look for innovative ways to ensure the safety of drivers and fellow motorists. One such mechanism is known as a Jake brake. In New York and elsewhere, truckers are often the first ones blamed when they are involved in a serious accident, and Jake brakes are designed to reduce the possibility of such a wreck.

In spite of the fact that safety should clearly be an overriding factor, some municipalities appear to be placing a desire for tranquility above the well-being of their residents. One city recently banned the use of Jake brakes. These mechanisms allow for the release of compressed air inside the engine cylinders. This allows the engine to slow, which provides support for other braking mechanisms. However, the release of this trapped air has been likened to the sound made by an automatic rifle.

The small city, which is in Missouri, has placed signs prohibiting the use of engine braking in all parts of the city, including an interstate and another highway running through it. Truckers who violate the new law could face fines up to $500 as well as three months in jail. Drivers are likely accustomed to seeing similar signage that forbids the use of the brakes, but this city is electing to go further in its enforcement.

City officials hope enforcement will not be necessary as truckers will elect not use their Jake brakes within the city limits. However, in an emergency situation, these devices may prevent a serious accident and the loss of life. New York truckers and their employers who may be facing litigation over a serious accident are entitled to a thorough and comprehensive defense. They have every right to dispute claims for liability, including any allegations of negligence or willful actions that purportedly led to the wreck.

Source: thetruckersreport.com, "Using Your Jake Brake Could Land You In Jail For 3 Months In This Town", Samuel Barradas, June9, 2017

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