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I constantly get asked and see people asking about stop lamps coming on with Jake brakes
There seams to be some misunderstanding and propaganda going on. So let’s clear the air

It is illegal to activate stop lamps by any means except the brake solenoid (a.k.a. brake pedal)
It’s that simple . No matter what horse poop anyone tried to say that’s the law
I got into it with kenworth dealership manager and corporate head office , I brought in cvse(commercial vehicle safety enforcement) or dot as many know them and they sided with me and now in my area all the trucks magicly stoped having Jake’s activate stop lamps (all done hush hush like).
Jake brakes and exhaust brakes are not part of the engineered braking system not all trucks and busses have them , they are illegal to use in most city’s and residential areas and as such are not mandatory install and why they are not allowed to activate the stop lamps.

The best reason I think to explain WHY THEY SHOULD NOT ACTI VATE stop lamps is as follows , I have had this happen so I know from experience.

Example: not all people drive in hilly or mountains so may not even think of this but consider this;
It’s night time You drive over the top of a long graded hill, say 6% grade for 5miles for simplicity sake , you start jaking or using engine brake at top of hill and Jake/engine brake entire duration down hill,
A 4 wheel car or truck catches up and comes over hill after you started down hill your stop lamps are activated and remain so, as vechicle behind catches up an animal runs out in front requiring you to do an emergency stop as fast as you can, vechicle behind unable to see an animal ran out as its night and to dark, you slam on brakes , car behind thinks your maintaining speed……. Wham they hit you……..guess who’s at fault ……you are , in a legal battle especially if someone dies(all fatality collisions have commercial vechicle torn down and examined, so computer will show stop lamps on for some time before accident) it will be claimed that your stop lamps were not working properly (if you had dash cam going it would show no change in stop lamp brightness) and so you are at fault as the accident would likely not have happened had they known you were braking.

Again I had a similar event happen as I live and work in mountains so I am always coming and going down long graded hills, lucky no accident happened and no one hurt or killed, but IT WILL HAPPEN and the law suit will be enormous, problem is you the owner and or driver of vechicle is at fault and sued first as it is your responsibility to know the law, you then have to sue the manufacturer who will likely VERY QUIETLY have all vechicles auto switched off and that part removed in update head off any lawsuit brought against them and it will be far more costly to you the operator to go after manufacturer then the one who sues you after accident.

Honestly I have made manufactures aware of this and sent copies of legislation to them with full details , dot cvse will not interseed until people get killed as to much money at stake to recall every vechicle with Jake’s or engine brakes and reprogram.

Know the law it’s you the are liable first and dealerships an manufacturer can spread what ever propaganda they want but in a court case they WILL LOSE EVERYTIME and so will you if your vechicle is set up that way and are in an accident

 

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