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.