On February 2, the House Transportation Committee considered legislation that would have authorized counties, cities, and towns to regulate the use of “Jake Brakes,” also known as compression release engine brakes when motor vehicles are operated within their boundaries and adjacent to residence districts. Compression release engine brakes are an engine braking system installed on some diesel engines. Exhaust valves release compress gas trapped in the engine cylinders helping to slow the vehicle, reducing wear and tear on a traditional braking system. Though beneficial for the braking system of the vehicle, the byproduct is often a loud noise.
HB 1861 (Guy) sought to expand to Virginia localities an authority already enjoyed in a number of states to regulate use of these systems in an effort to combat noise pollution. However, industry representatives expressed concern over the impact of the bill, and it was laid on the table by the Committee, 13-7, with a letter from the Chair to stakeholders to work on this issue further.
VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett