Channel 19

Todd Dills

A clatter in the town hall

| October 16, 2008

A victory for defiance? Westford, Vt. (population 2,086, according to the 2000 census) is the latest municipality to take up the issue of truckers’ Jake-brake use and the attendant noise. The town council shelved an ordinance that would have forbidden the use of Jakes in the town center on Vermont highway 128, reports Joel Banner Baird at the Burlington Free Press website, with a fine of $500 for offending parties. The defeat for the ordinance came after what Baird describes as a “>dozen or so town residents — half of them truckers” — had their say at a public meeting. The truckers pointed out that, if existing federal laws concerning the state of brake mufflers were enforced and/or followed, the noise wouldn’t be so much of a problem. And one, Ted Pelkey, had this to say: “>I’ll tell you right now, nobody’s going to heed to that law…. I’d break it every day.”

Baird reported, “>Selectboard member Dave Tilton and others in the room agreed in principle to signs that requested truckers to limit the use of engine brakes between Post and Osgood Hill roads.”