It's always a few bad apples who ruin polluting just for fun for the rest of us. That time-honored American tradition of being rude for laughs, otherwise known as 'rolling coal,' might become illegal in New Jersey, if a Nissan Leaf-driving politician gets his way.
The politician in question is State Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen), who was purposefully hit by a blast of dark smoke recently while driving his Leaf on the New Jersey Turnpike, according to NJ.com. This personal experience of what he called "just youthful ignorance" is encouraging him to submit a bill (A3583), which, "Prohibits retrofitting diesel-powered vehicles to increase particulate emissions for the purpose of 'coal rolling'; prohibits the practice of 'coal rolling.'" If you're caught violating the law, you would be hit with a fine from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Of course, the Feds say it is already illegal to modify an exhaust system in a way that allows coal rolling.
Rolling coal has become a bit of a meme recently, with videos of laughing truck drivers spewing their modified exhaust pipes at green cars, pedestrians and bikers around the country. Eustace told NJ.com that, "People had been telling this has been going on, but I hadn't seen it. I was surprised to experience it myself." Perhaps a coal roller in New Jersey will be surprised, too, when the first big fine hits.