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Public hearing scheduled on proposed trucking ordinances

January 23, 2019
OSSIPEE — Selectmen here will decide on adopting two new ordinances meant to keep trucks quiet and prevent them from taking shortcuts. A public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. at Ossipee Town Hall. Copies of the proposed ordinances are available at the town hall during regular business hours or on the Town Web site at www.ossipee.org.

The first ordinance prohibits the use of engine brakes on Duncan Lake Road. At the end of the road is a sand and gravel pit and residents complained that trucks hauling material frequently use their engine brakes, creating a lot of noise.

An engine brake, commonly referred to as "Jake brake," is an engine braking mechanism installed on some diesel engines that, according to jacobsvehiclesystems.com, "uses the engine to aid in slowing and controlling the vehicle. When activated, the engine brake alters the operation of the engine's exhaust valves so that the engine works as a power-absorbing air compressor. This provides a retarding, or slowing, action to the vehicle's drive wheels, enabling you to have improved vehicle control without using the service brakes." This conservation results in reduced service brake maintenance, shorter trip times, and lower total cost of ownership. Jake Brake is actually a shortened version of the also trademarked brand name Jacobs Engine Brake.

Selectmen Richard Morgan, at the Jan. 14 meeting, said that this type of braking is especially helpful to truck drivers when hauling loads on hills. But given that Duncan Lake Road is relatively flat, there is no need for trucks to be using them.

The second ordinance aims to eliminate big rig traffic in the Granite section of town. Selectmen are considering posting Foggs Ridge Road, Effingham Road and Granite Road as 'No Through Trucking.' Morgan said these roads are very narrow in places. There is also concern about the wear and tear truck traffic is having on the roads. There will be a waiver system for trucks that are used for work and deliveries along those roads but drivers just passing through could pay steep fines.

In both ordinances, the fine for a first offense is $100, the second $250 and third offense $500.

The purpose of the hearing is to accept public comment before the board votes to adopt the ordinances. Anyone who wants to submit written comment prior to the meeting, said Morgan, is welcome to do so. The written testimony will be read aloud at the hearing.

Martin Lord Osman
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