Vermont should regulate truck engine-brake noise

BRATTLEBORO — As a resident of West Brattleboro, I have been reading with interest the comments made related to the truck traffic on Route 9.

A brief comment was made about the noise associated with this traffic. I am amazed at how loud the trucks can be coming down off of Hogback Mountain - it's the engine brakes (Jake brakes). These devices aid in maintaining speed control coming down a hill. Do they have to be as loud as they are?

Apparently not. I just got back from Colorado and Oregon, and in both states there are signs on federal highways (I-70, I-5) stating “Engine brakes must be muffled.” The sign on I-70 was posted where the highway comes down out of the Rockies into Denver, one of the longest and steepest hills in the country.

Vermont should regulate that noise as well.

Another approach would be to prohibit the use of engine brakes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Operators would have to either muffle or schedule their trips accordingly.

I believe that many operators drive in a considerate manner and take into account the noise and make an effort to limit it.

However, it seems very clear to me that others love toying with their trucks and drive so as to maximize the noise - they are driving the need for regulation.

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