Recently, a number of professional-looking white signs with black lettering stating a new regulation: “Engine Brakes Prohibited” were put up between Wichita and Andover, Kansas along Kellogg Avenue and 143rd Street East.
It wasn’t long before the thrilled area residents began to thank their County Commissioner, Jim Skelton (whom they had previously asked for help with the issue). Skelton, thinking that the signs had been placed there by the state was relieved for the nearby homeowners.
Soon after their placement, the signs mysteriously vanished as quickly as they appeared.
It was later found out that the signs were actually quite unofficial – the Kansas DOT’s maintenance supervisor noticed, and immediately removed them.
It is still unknown who was responsible for the illegal placement of these unofficial signs.
Kansas DOT’s district engineer, Benny Tarverdi stated, “There’s a reason for those air brakes. They are safety features, and we don’t sign against them. That has been our policy for a long time.”
Signs prohibiting the use of jake brakes are allowed to be posted by cities on city limit and welcome signs. However, counties are not allowed to install signs prohibiting them – and the area in question is outside of the Wichita city limits.
County Commissioner, Jim Skelton is hoping to convince the state that engine braking is unnecessary on the flat stretch roadway. Skelton said, “I’m going to give them everything I’ve got.” – he also mentioned that the residents have complained about the noise waking them up at night, and prevents them from enjoying their back yards and patios.
Paula Dunagan – the director of the homeowners associate for Springdale Country Estates (a nearby residential community) agrees and claims, “you can’t even stand to be outside.” She was also quoted saying that she, “Doesn’t understand why it’s a safety issue, they (drivers) can see the stoplight in plenty of time.”
What do you think? Is the noise level in these residents back yard really more important?