A new bill in Maryland’s General Assembly might finally make it illegal to “roll coal,” the trendy but also completely ludicrous practice of modifying a diesel truck engine so it spews thick black smoke from the exhaust pipe, making the driver look a pure, American bad boy.
Maryland bill HB0011 would “prohibit a person from causing a diesel-powered motor vehicle to emit clearly visible smoke, soot, or other exhaust emissions onto another person or motor vehicle; and provide for the application of the Act.”
Rolling coal took off early this decade, when the rising popularity of eco-friendly hybrid cars managed to make some truck-driving Americans insecure enough to make a statement with their exhaust pipe. In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency stated the practice was illegal, as truck owners violated the Clean Air act by tampering with their vehicle’s emissions control devices. Several other states, including Illinois and New Jersey, have introduced bills that would impose a fine on the practice, and it looks like Maryland might be next.
During Donald Trump’s campaign for president, rolling coal also became a political act, and sometimes an act of violence.
Here’s a driver smoking out a bunch of Trump protestors at an event:
Here’s another driver harassing Black Lives Matter protestors in Maryland.
The practice is mostly a giant public annoyance, meant as a political show of complete disregard for the environment, or even an assault on people who don’t want to breathe in massive amounts of carcinogens. For some reason, people who roll coal often do it to themselves as well for fun.
This bill is probably a good idea for everyone’s sake.