Devon Residents Plea for Speed Limit Reduction Amid Truck Noise Pollution Concerns


The incessant grating cacophony of engine brakes from heavy-duty trucks has escalated into a pressing issue worrying the residents of Devon. A significant number among the town’s population of 6,546, including the mayor, are expressing their concern through official letters addressed to the provincial government. Their request revolves around the plea for an alteration in the speed limit applicable to the busy highway intersection, the epicentre of this overpowering auditory displeasure.

The town is home to Doug Martel, a resident dwelling merely two blocks away from the bustling intersection of Highway 60 and Miquelon Avenue. According to Martel’s personal observations, trucks often whizz past, noticeably exceeding the pre-established speed limit of 70 kilometres-per-hour. Reportedly, these enormous vehicles often speed up to approximately 90 kilometres per hour, much to the resident’s distress. Martel often finds himself hearing the deep, roaring rumble of engine retarder brakes deployed by these trucks, an auditory nuisance persisting incessantly, day and night.

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Looking for a means to alleviate this situation, Martel has requested provincial authorities to slash the existing speed limit to 60 kilometres per hour. Furthermore, he proposed a modification in the wordings displayed on road signs, specifically prohibiting the use of engine retarder brakes.

Most of the behemoths on wheels regrettably dismiss any such warnings and continue to heavily rely on their engine retarder brakes, aiming for a smoother halt at the stoplight, Martel revealed.

The troubling brake-induced racket not only perturbs the peaceful everyday life of nearby residents but also poses a major issue for patients at a neighbouring hospital. Mayor Jeff Craddock informed about the hospital’s proximity to the bustling intersection, sharing the particular concern for the palliative wing, which is unfortunately positioned on the eternally noisy hilltop. He articulated the town’s shared angst, remarking, “In people’s last days, that’s a lot of noise and disruption.”

Continuous deliberations have been held with the province to address this escalating issue, says Craddock.

The Ministry of Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors, speaking to CTV News Edmonton, conveyed that there is currently no provincial legislation regulating the use of engine retarder brakes on provincial highways or managing the noise pollution they emit. However, the possibility of repositioning the sign intimating upcoming speed limit reductions by an extra 50 metres is being considered. This move is intended to extend drivers’ reaction time to the altered speed limit.

Interestingly, existing provincial highway norms forbid vehicles from ’emitting any excessive noise’ during the quiet hours extending from 10 p.m to 7 a.m.

Mayor Craddock reinforced the town’s commitment to exploring all possible solutions – be it linguistic alterations in road signage or a complete redesign of the same – to effectually curb the vehicular speeds and subsequently eliminate the noise issue.