Highway 75

County bans Jake Brakes, but sheriff says he won’t enforce it

“I’d much rather see our Deputies working drug interdiction on the Interstate, patrolling the rural communities than be concerned over a Jake Brake issue,” said the county’s sheriff.

This week, an Iowa county voted to ban the use of Jake brakes on certain roadways, but one official believes that the ban is “unenforceable.”

After numerous complaints from residents, officials in Woodbury County passed an ordinance on Tuesday, December 18, forbidding the use of engine compression brakes, or Jake brakes, on Highway 75, Highway 20, and several smaller county roads.

Specifically, the ordinance forbids truck drivers from using any braking system that “results in excessive, loud, unusual or explosive noise.”

The fine for violating the ordinance is $100.

While residents annoyed by the noise of Jake brakes are pleased with the new ordinance, one county official says that he isn’t a fan.

When the ordinance was proposed last month, Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew took to Twitter to express his exasperation with the Jake brake ban.

Drew wrote:

“Oh please! Who is enforcing an unenforceable ordinance? What will determine writing the citation, because we hear a jake brake! I’m throwing the flag on that one! Least of our worries!”

Dave Drew@SheriffDaveDrew

Drew also told Iowa Public Radio that he believes that his county’s resources would be wasted in policing truck drivers and their Jake brake usage:

“I’d much rather see our Deputies working drug interdiction on the Interstate, patrolling the rural communities then [sic] be concerned over a Jake Brake issue. I have no plans to purchase a decibel meter to determine if that trucks noise is to [sic] loud, the courts are the ultimate ones to decide if that noise is too loud.”

Woodbury County officials will start posting signs for the new Jake brake ban starting in early 2019.