Ashland Police, city council take action on engine braking noise by raising fine

Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 10:45 PM CST
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ASHLAND, Neb. (WOWT) - Community leaders in Ashland, Nebraska say they’ve heard enough.

The sound of engine braking by semis passing through has some residents making noise so the city council and police are taking action.

Patrolling two highways into Ashland, Police Chief Joe Baulder doesn’t just look for violations, he listens.

On the edge of town, truckers are warned to slow down quietly.

“Heard him engine braking coming into town here where they got the new signs,” said Baudler.

The trucker is told why he’s been pulled over.

“Because of all the complaints the new developments going in out here with people using their engine brakes,” said Baudler.

The noise heard in iron horse.

Ashland city officials say they’ve received complaints of engine braking noise in this new neighborhood located about a quarter of a mile from the intersection of two highways.

The Ashland City Council increased the engine braking nuisance fine from $10 to $100.

“We’re getting a little bit of negative feedback that we’re trying to negatively affect trucking income and this type of thing and that’s not the intent. We’re just trying to make sure that the citizens of this community can live a nice peaceful life,” said City Council Member Chuck Niemeyer.

Coming into Ashland, Owner Operation Brandon Marxsen flipped an engine brake switch.

“Slow down, save on brake and wear and tear,” said Marxsen.

He admits to bad timing.

“The signs aren’t very big, yes I know I was coming into town, I just didn’t know where the line was,” said Marxsen.

The trucker gets a warning ticket.

“I’ll be quieter coming into Ashland,” said Marxsen.

And other semi-drivers need to do the same. A stopped semi-driver says a sound didn’t come from his truck.

“Well, I think maybe the first time is a warning ticket but the second time if you are coming through here, I can maybe see getting a ticket.”

The Wisconsin driver leaves Ashland with a warning but the chief says those will soon be in the rearview mirror.

“If we can prove a case we’re going to start filing them. We’ve given out a lot of warnings, the time for warnings is run out,” said Baudler.

The President of the Nebraska Trucking Association Kent Grisham tells 6 News this is the first time he’s heard of the engine braking noise issue in Ashland.

But he promises the information on a fine increase in that community will be posted in the association newsletter and social media pages.

Those outlets reach 863 trucking companies in Nebraska.

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