Putnam County Board prohibits use of compression brakes on section of Route 71

Regulation won’t take effect until proper signage is in place

Putnam County Courthouse

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Putnam County Board unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of compression brakes or ‘Jake Brakes’ on an area of IL Route 71 through the county.

These brakes are an engine braking mechanism installed on some diesel engines that, when activated, opens exhaust valves to the engine’s cylinders before the compression stroke ends helping to slow the vehicle.

The use of these brakes may cause a vehicle to make a loud exhaust noise which has led to may communities around the country to place limitations on its usage.

With IL Route 71 being a state-controlled highway, the Putnam County Highway Department will reach out for sign authorization.

Signs will then be installed in the prohibited area. Sheriff Kevin Doyle added that the Sheriff’s Department will not be enforcing this regulation until the signs have been put in place, which could take several months.

“We want to make it clear on our end,” Doyle said. “We are not going to enforce anything until the proper signage is in place.”

Doyle added that once the regulation is in effect and the signs are in place, he believes the initial response should be a campaign for education on the issue instead of worrying about writing tickets.