Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 20, 2018 8:29 p.m.
Signs politely asking truckers not to apply jake brakes within city limits will soon be replaced by a City Ordinance prohibiting jake brakes under penalty of law. Fernandina Beach City Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance on First Reading during their May 15, 2018 Regular Meeting.
A compression release engine brake, frequently called a Jake nett brake or Jake 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. Some say the loud noise emitted sounds similar to the firing of a gun.
City residents who live on or within earshot of 8thStreet have complained about losing sleep because of late night jake braking by log trucks heading to and from the local mills. The noise has been especially annoying to visitors staying at Bed and Breakfast Inns in the Historic District. According to city staff, the incidents of complaints related to trucks “jake braking” on 8th Street have increased to the point that the Police Department needs an enforcement mechanism through an ordinance. A violation of this new Ordinance prohibiting “jake braking” will be enforced via a written warning and then a $250 fine for a subsequent offense.
Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.