City puts brakes on engine brakes

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Large trucks are going to have to use their regular brakes when slowing down to stop while inside the city of Oxford.

On Tuesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a new ordinance that prohibits trucks from using their engine brakes.

The aldermen approved the ordinance unanimously after the third reading. A public hearing was held last month, however there was no public comment made during the hearing.

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The ordinance defines any engine brake as a hydraulically operated device that operates a power-producing diesel engine into a power absorbing retarding mechanism that produces a noise that is “loud and excess.”

Big rig use

A compression release engine brake, frequently called a Jake brake or Jacobs’s brake, is an engine braking mechanism installed on some diesel engines. When activated, it opens exhaust valves in the cylinders after the compression cycle, releasing the compressed air trapped in the cylinders, and slowing the vehicle.

The engine brakes are often used to prevent wear and tear of the brake pads on the “regular” brake system.

The ordinance would not apply to emergency vehicles like fire trucks.

If found in violation of the terms of the ordinance, a driver could be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to a fine not to exceed $500.

Ben Requet, with the city’s Planning Department, said the Mississippi Department of Transportation has agreed to put up signs on the portions of the highways that run through Oxford advising drivers of the new law. Other signs will need to be placed on other major roads inside the city limits.

The aldermen also approved rate changes for rubbish collection for commercial and county businesses at $26 a month and added recycling cardboard Dumpsters at $30 a month for once a week pick-up. The Dumpsters are for cardboard only. The recycling did not change for small business and residential pick-up. Residential garbage collection will remain at $18 a month for twice-weekly collection.