There. We said it. It's dumb.
First it was Colorado, then New Jersey. And now, according to The Washington Post, Maryland is the latest US state to ban the practice of rolling coal. If you're a coal roller and live in Maryland, this means you have until October 1 to continue doing your dumb hobby until it becomes illegal. After this date, violators can be fined up to $500. Typically, rolling coal has been used to annoy protesters and even against those who drive a foreign-built car or a hybrid, like the Toyota Prius. It's all just one big dirty prank. Bicyclists are also not immune.
Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, signed the new bill into law last week. And the Diesel Technology Forum, which according to the Washington Post, represents diesel engine manufacturers and suppliers, supported the legislation. How come?
Because rolling coal is bad for the environment and gives diesel engines a bad name. In order to make one's vehicle "roll coal," owners have to mess with and alter the emissions controls, which is actually illegal under federal law. "Nobody wants to see a black puff of smoke coming out of any vehicle," stated Diesel Technology Forum executive director Allen Schaeffer. "It's a very small fraction of a universe of people who do this, but it's not representative of the current world of diesel technology that people have worked so hard to make clean." Not surprisingly, various environmental organizations and Bike Maryland also supported the legislation. Don't be surprised to see more states begin to pass similar anti rolling coal legislation.