Compression release engine brakes; use of brakes in localities. (HB1861)

Introduced By

Del. Nancy Guy (D-Virginia Beach)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Use of compression release engine brakes in localities. Authorizes counties, cities, and towns to regulate the use of compression release engine brakes when motor vehicles are operated within their boundaries and adjacent to residence districts. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/07/2021Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/21 21101817D
01/07/2021Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/12/2021Assigned Transportation sub: Motor Vehicles
01/18/2021House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
02/02/2021Tabled in Transportation (14-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)



The neighborhood of Bradford Acres located between Northhampton Blvd. (US 13) and Shore Drive (US 60) in Virginia Beach support passing and enacting HB1861. The use of compression release engine brakes is becoming more disturbing as traffic increases at RT 13. The noise generated by unmuffled tractors engaging engine brakes is deafening directly outside of these homes. It frightens small children, disturbs the wildlife and is harmful to household pets. The noise from these trucks is so loud that one cannot hear normal conversation at reasonable distances, this would generally indicate noise levels above 83 Db which is recognized as hazardous and requiring hearing protection. Trucks will engage these brakes at all hours of the day and night waking residents.

The increase of general traffic coupled with the already high volume of tractor trailer traffic on RT 13 has developed into a situation which continually disturbs the domestic tranquility of our space with damaging hazardous noise levels.The use of unmuffled tractors engaging engine brakes has exacerbated this situation.

Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.

Very Respectfully,

William A. Barnett
4737 Victory Rd.
Virginia Beach, Virginia