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La Plata County formally adopts ordinance to stop ‘Jake Brakes’

Road signs informing drivers of law to be placed where appropriate
La Plata County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to pass an ordinance that prohibits the use of “Jake Brakes,” which are loud and can disrupt residential life.

La Plata County formally adopted a state law that requires the use of engine brake mufflers for commercial vehicles to prevent what’s known as “Jake Brakes,” a loud method of braking on trucks.

Although the engine brake mufflers are required by state law, La Plata County must adopt its own ordinance for the requirement, said Jim Davis, the county’s public works director.

Also, by adopting a local ordinance, Davis said law enforcement will be better able to enforce the law, as well as place signs around the region where appropriate.

Davis said some residents in the past year or so have asked for signs to be placed on U.S. Highway 550 near the La Plata County-San Juan County border north of Durango, in Grandview and on Florida Road.

All three commissioners unanimously adopted the ordinance Tuesday.

Commissioner Marsha Porter-Norton said the ordinance is aimed at improving the quality of life for residents who live near busy roads.

“The trucking industry is important for commerce,” she said. “It’s not against the trucking industry at all.”


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