WELLSBORO — Councilman Lou Prevost pledges to continue his efforts to amend state law regarding the employment of jake brakes.

At the Jan. 11 meeting, Prevost said he is in contact with the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, as well as state Rep. Clint Owlett and Senator Cris Dush.

This past summer, Prevost began his quest by asking the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to align the signs regarding using the Jacobs Vehicle Systems, commonly called jake brakes, on state Route 287 south of Wellsboro. He contends using the braking system on wet downhill slopes can cause tractor-trailers to jacknife, creating a potentially life-threatening situation. In addition, the brakes are loud and disruptive.

According to Prevost, PennDOT responded that jake brakes are allowed where the downhill grade exceeds 4% and that boroughs cannot change the state law permitting their use.

However, Prevost said there are other options, such as brake mufflers or amending the state law to allow more local decision-making.

He has reached out to PSAB because he believes other municipalities face the same issue and asked for an article in the state Impact magazine highlighting the issues regarding jake brakes.

Finding a solution and amending the state law will take time and patience, but Prevost said he will keep the board updated.

In other business, council:

  • Appointed Bill Gerski to a four-year term expiring in 2024 on the Planning Commission.
  • Set the Halloween parade and trick-or-treating for Sunday, Oct. 31. The parade begins at 6 p.m. with trick-or-treating until 8:30 p.m.
  • Set the community-wide yard sale dates for April 16-17 and Oct. 15-16. Borough wide clean-up dates are the week after the yard sale on the normal pickup days.

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