“Rolling Coal” is a term used for the added emissions that can be emitted from a diesel powered vehicle. This process is achieved through retrofitting the vehicle, which typically costs between a few hundred and several thousand dollars. The practice of “rolling coal” makes it possible for drivers to emit this black smoke on command, leaving drivers and pedestrians covered in a cloud of soot that is completely unnecessary. For whatever reason these drivers get pleasure out of leaving others awash in their emissions, New Jersey has had enough and made it illegal.
If you have never heard the term “rolling coal” you are part of a lucky group, but you might just be the next target of someone who is out to bath an unsuspecting bystander with the black soot that comes out of their pipes as they drive past laughing their menacing cackle on down the road. So what caused New Jersey to now take action and not allow this rude action to continue to take place unnoticed by law enforcement? Possibly a New Jersey State Assemblyman being the victim of a truck “rolling coal” on his Nissan Leaf might be enough to make this quickly make it to the Governor’s desk.
Whether you feel it’s irony or just bad luck for either the Assemblyman or the truck driver, the “double-whammy” of covering an elected official’s vehicle with soot and it being a car that is built to help keep emissions much lower in the environment caused this action to take place. The reality is, the act of “rolling coal” was already against the law in New Jersey. the law states it’s illegal for a vehicle to emit smoke for more than three seconds while driving and this act is also a violation of federal statutes, but that doesn’t prevent the act from taking place.
Assemblyman Tim Eustace, the victim in this case, understands the laws that are in place, but pushed for this to become law in New Jersey because he believes many laws lay fallow and need to have a stronger support and enforcement in order to become effective.
With the movement of so many automakers working toward cleaner running vehicles and more environmentally friendly forms of operation, it’s extremely infuriating to learn there are still those who don’t understand their effect on the environment as a whole.
Similar legislation is working its way through the Illinois General Assembly and would require a $5,000 fine be paid by violators. With more government backing and enforcement, it’s possible we will see this rude, disrespectful and dangerous activity gone from the roads altogether. While waiting for this to take place, the sale of kits and items that allow drivers to modify their vehicles to create these billowing clouds of black soot should be halted to aid in the reduction of drivers participating in “rolling coal” which is simply an activity that has nothing but negative effects on other and the environment.