Published on March 30th, 2015 | by Christopher DeMorro

Illinois Bill Would Levy $5,000 Fine For Drivers “Rolling Coal”

March 30th, 2015 by  


Over the summer an old pastime among diesel truck drivers became new news when an uninformed article linked “rolling coal” to the Tea Party. As I already explained, blowing unburnt diesel through an exhaust system to create big plumes of black smoke is nothing new, but a bill has been introduced in Illinois that would levy hefty fines against coal rollin’ offenders.

Rep. Will Guzzardi from the Illinois General Assembly has introduced a bill that would fine anybody caught rolling coal the Prairie State $5,000, reports AutoGuide. Guzzardi, a Democrat, wants to strengthen the wording of an already-existing EPA law against tampering with emissions equipment. While the EPA says it has already fined companies selling devices that defeat emissions control systems, it is a fairly simple matter to flash an ECU to deliver the kind of sooty nonsense some diesel truck drivers enjoy.

This is the wrong way to go about ending the rolling coal phenomenon if you ask me. You’ll never be able to stop people from making such modifications to their vehicles, and it’s easy enough to keep such mods under wraps when the fuzz is around.
Instead, I propose that anybody found “rolling coal” on a pedestrian or driver be subject to battery charges, contingent on there being missing or tampered emissions controls on board. It has been proven that diesel exhaust causes cancer, after all, and purposely blowing fumes into another person’s car could be constituted as a crime. If courts are willing to side with victims of secondhand smoke from cigarettes, why not with victims of rolling coal too?

Put one or two of these coal rollin’ idiots in jail for a few months, make sure the newspapers know about it, and watch how quickly people decide they have better things to do with their time.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • curly4

    Increasing the state and Federal road tax on fuel by 10X would also help to reduce this practice. It would also tilt to electric cars the advantage which would greatly increase the sales of these “clean” cars.

    • dannythetrucker

      No problem if you don’t mind paying extra on EVERYTHING you buy that is brought to stores by diesel trucks. We charge customers for our fuel, they charge you.

      • wifather2000

        The America trucking industry is the biggest make work project since the Hoover Dam!! Trains are way more efficient!!

        • dannythetrucker

          Trains are amazing, and almost everything on them goes onto a truck and has been on a truck. A train don’t put groceries in a store, or bring concrete and gravel for roads, or put clothes in a store, and while lumber and steel may travel on a train, it will be a truck bringing it to that new house down the road. Get it ? Trains don’t replace trucks, they work with them.

          • wifather2000

            Trucks, as well as the brains of the drivers, are very inefficient!!

          • dannythetrucker

            trains are more fuel efficient than trucks in the same way that trucks are more efficient that cars. I generally haul 46,000 lbs of product and can still get 8mpg. Your car can only haul yourself and few friends or some bags of groceries, and get what 25 mpg ? That’s awful, you are burning nearly 1/3 as much fuel as me and only hauling 1/100th the amount. take the bus ! bus is way more efficient than car, or take the train. get your inefficient piece of junk out of my office so I can work !

          • wifather2000

            The goal would be to eliminate all or most long haul trucking and replace it with trains that are about 100 times as efficient, and safer! Truckers with the attitude that all roads were built just for them are like school yard bullies, the dumbest kids in the class and ignorant enough to stay that way for life!!

          • dannythetrucker

            I was joking. you don’t understand transportation. We should utilize trains as much as possible, but it’s still never, ever going to replace longhaul trucking. Not in todays time sensitive drop ship world. I don’t expect you to understand that, just take it from an expert. Oh, and by the way, long haul trucks now have extremely low emissions. since the 2007 requirements and the 2011 standards, exhaust gas recirculation, diesel particulate filters, and selective catalytic reduction with urea deisel exhaust fluid and the incoming compressed natural gas and propane and electric technologies, emissions are practically nothing a few percent of what they were just 10 years ago. This article is about pick up trucks turned up to make black smoke. go do some homework and come back when you know something. class dismissed.

          • wifather2000

            What would you like to know? Anything is better than nothing!!

          • BulkZerker

            Truckers with what attitude? Hate to break it to doubt I’m the real world having 14 more tiers doesn’t make the vehicle stop that much faster. your a statistic waiting to happen.

          • wifather2000

            Nor do they allow a professional trucker to pass a 6th grade comprehension test!

          • curly4

            Yep and trains can run on electric as they do in Europe and other places. Electric train is cheaper to operate than a diesel locomotive.

    • AaronD12

      Just send the subsidies to the oil companies. That will raise the price of gas/diesel without increasing taxes. In fact, the tea baggers, er, tea party would appreciate that we would be lowering taxes!

      • curly4

        That will not help. Until the cost of motor fuel gets to the point of hurting there will be problems like this. But if the cost of motor fuel (through taxes) gets high enough there will be a lot fewer of them. Also if pollution taxes is added on top of the cost of motor fuel should stop the rest. But if it don’t the offending vehicle will be confiscated.

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  • BulkZerker

    M actually against this kind of Bill. Though rolling coal has got to be the dumbest thing next to the fast and furious movies.

  • Would love to see these azzholes fined, placed in jail, or both.

    I recall seeing such a truck with a sign conveying, “Smoke ’em, Scotty.”

    This smoke can blind a driver and thus cause an accident

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