County Sheriff Says What About New Law Targeting Truck Drivers?!

Woodbury County, Iowa – An Iowa county is the most recent in a growing number of counties and municipalities to pass ordinances against the use of compression release engine braking systems known as “Jake brakes,” but the county sheriff is not having it.

Woodbury County, Iowa, officials just approved an ordinance that outlaws the use of Jake brakes along sections of U.S. Highway 75 and U.S. Highway 20. According to the ordinance, violators will be fined $100.

According to a report by, County Engineer Mark Nahra says signs will be placed along eight specified portions of roads to remind drivers of the ordinance. Nahra confirmed the genesis of the ordinance was unhappy residents who have become increasingly upset with the “loud” and “disruptive” semis.


Critics argue ordinances against the use of Jake brakes are very difficult to enforce and police officers should be spending their time focused on other issues. Count Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew among the naysayers.

When the ordinance was first discussed back in November, Drew lashed out on Twitter calling it “unenforceable.” Further, he wrote,

“Oh please! Who is enforcing an unenforceable ordinance? What will determine writing the citation, because we hear a jake brake! I’m throwing the flag on that one! Least of our worries!”

Upon the adoption of the ordinance Sheriff Drew issued another statement affirming his original comments. “I’d much rather see our Deputies working drug interdiction on the Interstate, patrolling the rural communities then [sic] be concerned over a Jake Brake issue,” he wrote.


Though the ordinance does not specify a particular unlawful decibel level, Sheriff Drew scoffed at the idea of his officers making determinations regarding noise that might be constituted as a violation of the ordinance.

“I have no plans to purchase a decibel meter to determine if that truck’s noise is too loud, the courts are the ultimate ones to decide if that noise is too loud,” the sheriff wrote.

Truckers everywhere may now have a new favorite sheriff.

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