Exhaust brake use inconsiderate

LETTER

Approximately 500 metres south of the Jolly Stockman on the road into Makaraka there is a road sign requesting that heavy vehicles do not engage exhaust brakes in suburban areas. The sign is about 1200mm by 500mm — four times larger than a stop sign.

Mostly, the growing fleet of truck drivers using this stretch of road comply with the request, but there is a minority who don’t.

The road is flat for many kilometres in both directions, so why would drivers need to use exhaust brakes to slow down?

The sound of exhaust brakes from about 3am onwards is annoying, to say the least. As more and more trucks are using this road, the early morning noise can be disruptive and life-changing for residents.

The condition of the road is also suffering from the heavy traffic use. It’s full of potholes, which adds to the road noise.

The sign is a request — and even uses “please” within the text — but as far as I know it’s not written into law, nor is it compulsory for drivers to comply.

From my experience, the majority of truck drivers are a competent and skilled bunch of professionals. They have to be to negotiate our back-country roads. I figure that there could only be a couple of reasons why a small number of drivers don’t comply.

Because of long working hours, drivers are too tired to read the notice — and if that’s the case then one has to wonder what other signs are not being seen due to tiredness. Another reason is that a small minority of drivers don’t give a rodent’s rear end — and this lack of consideration might also reflect their attitude towards other road users.

Trucks are noisy enough as it is, but it would be much appreciated if truck drivers who are slowing down for the turn into Awapuni Road would not engage their exhaust brakes. Thanks.

JAKE BRAKE

Footnote from Tairawhiti Roads general manager Dave Hadfield:

While the focus of your letter is by the Jolly Stockman intersection, your concerns have been raised by many rural residents in other parts of the district. It’s a district-wide conversation of trying to balance and encourage economic growth while maintaining our amenity values. This month councillors and council staff will be having community meetings around the district — it will be a great opportunity to hear ideas how your concerns can be resolved.

Approximately 500 metres south of the Jolly Stockman on the road into Makaraka there is a road sign requesting that heavy vehicles do not engage exhaust brakes in suburban areas. The sign is about 1200mm by 500mm — four times larger than a stop sign.

Mostly, the growing fleet of truck drivers using this stretch of road comply with the request, but there is a minority who don’t.

The road is flat for many kilometres in both directions, so why would drivers need to use exhaust brakes to slow down?

The sound of exhaust brakes from about 3am onwards is annoying, to say the least. As more and more trucks are using this road, the early morning noise can be disruptive and life-changing for residents.

The condition of the road is also suffering from the heavy traffic use. It’s full of potholes, which adds to the road noise.

The sign is a request — and even uses “please” within the text — but as far as I know it’s not written into law, nor is it compulsory for drivers to comply.

From my experience, the majority of truck drivers are a competent and skilled bunch of professionals. They have to be to negotiate our back-country roads. I figure that there could only be a couple of reasons why a small number of drivers don’t comply.

Because of long working hours, drivers are too tired to read the notice — and if that’s the case then one has to wonder what other signs are not being seen due to tiredness. Another reason is that a small minority of drivers don’t give a rodent’s rear end — and this lack of consideration might also reflect their attitude towards other road users.

Trucks are noisy enough as it is, but it would be much appreciated if truck drivers who are slowing down for the turn into Awapuni Road would not engage their exhaust brakes. Thanks.

JAKE BRAKE

Footnote from Tairawhiti Roads general manager Dave Hadfield:

While the focus of your letter is by the Jolly Stockman intersection, your concerns have been raised by many rural residents in other parts of the district. It’s a district-wide conversation of trying to balance and encourage economic growth while maintaining our amenity values. This month councillors and council staff will be having community meetings around the district — it will be a great opportunity to hear ideas how your concerns can be resolved.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    The council estimates $13.2 million of work is needed on private drainage systems to help limit wastewater discharges into city rivers, along with $25m-$65m more work on the public wastewater and stormwater systems. Do you think private property owners should pay to repair their systems, the council, or a council subsidy such as interest-free loans?