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Your Rolling Coal Days Are Numbered

I had to move to Western Colorado to witness my first “rolling coal” event. Recently a white, lifted, custom Ford HD 4-wheel drive was at a light on North Avenue. When the light changed, thick black smoke began to bellow from the large single exhaust pipe coming up from behind the cab.

To be honest, I thought there was something wrong. “Why so much black smoke?”, not realizing it was by design. I have a CDL. Not just a Commercial Drivers License but a Class A with all the endorsements. I’ve pulled loads as far west as California and north to Michigan. Over the past 20 years, the pressure has been ramped up on the trucking industry to cut emissions. Diesel fuel sulfur levels are so low you now need additives to keep your truck running smoothly. Diesel exhaust fluids like Blue DEF is yet another expense trucking companies have incurred to reduce emissions and operate legally.

If the trucking industry has been hammered with regulations to reduce exhaust emissions, what makes you think you it’s ok to blow smoke for kicks? The black smoke is a form of protest, right? Drivers pass unsuspecting cyclists and Prius owners and blast them with clouds of black smoke. The acts are often uploaded to Youtube.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hybrid car fan ( I own a GMC Sierra) or ultra-environmentalist. Again, I have a CDL and am much more sympathetic to my truck driving brothers and sisters than an electric car owner. However, the concept of blowing black smoke for fun seems ridiculous to me and I agree, the fad needs to go away.

In reality, it doesn’t matter what I think, it took a couple tries but Colorado lawmakers have voted to make “rolling coal” illegal. Colorado Bill 278 makes the act a traffic infraction and subjects to a $100 fine. That may be getting off easy, in New Jersey, the ticket carries a $5,000 fine. All the bill needs now is the governor’s signature to become law.

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