Lawmakers in New Jersey Successfully Prohibit Rolling Coal on Public Roads
New Law Reemphasizes State Emissions Requirements
Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that bans the practice of coal rolling, taking effect immediately. Senators Linda R. Greenstein, Robert M. Gordon, and Tim Eustace sponsored the law, which prohibits retrofitting a diesel-powered vehicle to “enhance its ability to emit soot, smoke, or other particulate emissions.” Senator Eustace, who drives a Nissan Leaf electric car, was coal-rolled by a lifted diesel truck, giving him the idea for the law, according to the website CarBuzz.
New Jersey news outlet NJ.com says the law is somewhat redundant, however. Current state environmental regulations outlaw any visible tailpipe emissions for more than three seconds, and EPA laws prohibit modifying a truck to belch smoke as well. In response to that, Eustace said that the new legislation would ensure the law gets enforced.
NJ.com reports that a New Jersey state trooper was coal-rolled while riding a bicycle, temporarily blinding him. In another instance, a woman who was driving with young children in the vehicle experienced rolling coal firsthand as well.
Diesel Power editor KJ Jones approves of rolling coal in some situations, like diesel drag races, dyno events, or sled pulling. “It’s almost like a very unofficial badge of honor,” Jones said in an article from September 2014. “However, the Catch-22 about my opinion is that I really don't dig it on the street. On public roads and highways, in towns and neighborhoods, heck, even out in wide-open spaces in the country, the whole 'rolling coal' thing isn't very responsible at all.”
Eustace introduced the bill in August 2014, and it was written into law this month.