City considers ban on engine braking

Drivers who use a noisy technique called jake-braking could soon pay a fine in Franklin.

When semitrailer drivers use an engine compression brake, also known as jake-braking, it makes loud noises similar to a machine gun. No residents have complained yet, but Franklin wants to join other communities, including Greenwood, with a ban.

The ban was suggested in response to the new truck route that was put into place, which goes by homes on Eastview Drive and other streets. As a proactive measure, the city proposed banning the use of engine compression braking citywide.

Drivers caught violating the ban inside city limits could face a fine of $250. The only exception is for firetrucks or other emergency vehicle, or in the case of a vehicle’s brake system malfunctioning.

Other cities already have a ban in place, including Greenwood, where the fine starts at $50 and escalates after each offense up to $1,000.

If approved, signs will go up on all highways going in and out of Franklin to alert truck drivers of the new ban, Franklin senior planner Joanna Myers said.

The proposed ban was introduced Monday, and the city council will vote as early as next month. If passed in March, the ban will take effect 30 days later.