Alpharetta aims to quiet loud brakes on big rigs

by: Carl Willis Updated:

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. —

One North Fulton County city is considering banning big rigs from using Jacob Engine Brakes, also known as "Jake Brakes" within city limits.

Alpharetta City Council debated the use of the secondary braking system after receiving complaints from residents along Rucker Road.

Rucker Road is a major thoroughfare that runs by several subdivisions and homes facing the roadway.

"I don't need an alarm clock," said Mohammed Hussain. "I can just count on a couple of trucks driving down the road."

"It sounds kind of like a jackhammer," said Todd Wotiz.

According to residents, truck drivers frequently use the brakes that are intended for hilly areas and emergency stops near residential areas.

"There are not any huge hills around here," said Wotiz. "I think normal brakes would be fine in the city limits."

Several other cities have banned Jake Brakes and posted warning signs for drivers.

"I think that will be a great idea, maybe at certain hours instead of five o'clock in the morning or late at night," said Hussain.

Despite the complaints, the proposed measure stalled out.

The Assistant City Administrator told Channel 2's Carl Willis that while the complaints rolled in, no one from the public stepped forward the issue went before the council.

That caused them to table a vote.

"It's a necessary evil," said truck driver Jevon Johnson.

He admitted the brakes cause a racket, but said they are used to make safe, quick stops and to relieve wear and tear on standard brakes.

"It depends on if it's flat land or it's a hill," Johnson said. "You need them on a hill for stopping power."

Wotiz questioned the need on the relatively level road.

"There are not any huge hills around here," he said. "I think normal brakes would be fine in the city limits."

He says the ordinance may be worth another look.

"If enough people are upset, you really should go to your council members," he said.

City officials say they could take up the issue in the future if they continue to hear from residents.