WINDSOR, Ont. - Windsor will join at least a handful of other Canadian communities by posting signs cautioning drivers not to use their "jake brakes" (or engine dynamic braking) while slowing along congested Huron Church Rd.
WINDSOR, Ont. – Windsor will join at least a handful of other Canadian communities by posting signs cautioning drivers not to use their “jake brakes” (or engine dynamic braking) while slowing along congested Huron Church Rd.
Truck back-ups along the route into the United States are legion along the six-lane stretch between the Ambassador Bridge and Hwy. 401. And while government officials seek to find a long-term solution, which could involve approving one of three new border crossing proposals, problems related to noise, pollution and road blockages continue to irk local residents.
Lorne Dunkley, who lives a block from Huron Church, finally had enough last spring when feeding his infant child in the middle of the night. “I was up about four o’clock in the morning giving him a bottle, and I could hear this guy on Huron Church with his jake brake on.”
The truck repeatedly moved a few dozen feet and then stopped, all the while using jake brakes. “I’m thinking, ‘It’s four o’clock in the morning, this guy’s a visitor in our community. The least he can do is try and go quietly.'”
Dunkley petitioned city council, which quickly passed an amendment to its noise bylaw allowing $105 tickets to be issued to drivers who use their jake brakes in residential areas. There will also be warning signs posted along Huron Church and adjacent E.C. Row Expressway.
Dave Brister, a city councillor who ran for office on a campaign against one of the proposed truck crossings – the dedicated truck road and tunnel planned by the Detroit River Tunnel partnership (DRTP) – because it will slice through other city neighbourhoods, said that while the general issue of trucks clogging Windsor’s streets must be solved, the city can take immediate action to deal with smaller problems.
“What we’re trying to do is provide relief where we can for residents as we’re trying to wade through the whole issue of the border.”
Brister added the action is not meant as “a slam” against truckers. “A lot of these truckers are on very long hauls and they’re used to being able to use these (braking) systems on the highways.” But it’s important, he added, that the drivers’ consciousness be raised when they’re in a populated area and passing through the city at different hours of the day or night.
Steve Anderson, spokesman for the Ontario Trucking Association, said if there are complaints about how truckers drive the association can put a notice in the association’s newsletter advising corrective action. “I’m sure carriers probably would tell their drivers the same – be considerate when using (jake brakes) in residential areas. They are quite loud,” he said, adding other complaints about jake brakes have come from the Sarnia area along Hwy. 402.
The City of Thunder Bay this summer also passed a bylaw prohibiting the use of jake brakes use on city streets and highways. Signs have been erected accordingly.
In 1998 the City of Winnipeg enacted a similar bylaw with signs posted on the city’s outskirts to advise of the prohibition.