If you’ve ever been driving and seen a cloud of black smoke spewing out of an exhaust pipe, you likely were witnessing coal rolling. A video of one truck doing just that and rolling coal onto merging cars sparked outrage in the subreddit r/IdiotsInCars.
The video was taken on a dashboard camera and captured a line of merging cars as they are washed over with thick black smoke. “W.T.F. Welcome To Florida,” the user wrote.
Rolling coal is done by forcing more diesel fuel into a vehicle’s engine than it can handle, resulting in the spewing forth of excess exhaust.
“So you pay extra to waste fuel? Lmao,” one viewer commented.
The practice isn’t just frustrating for other drivers — it’s also federally illegal and violates the Clean Air Act. In fact, the Department of Justice recently sued eBay for selling certain components that facilitate coal rolling — and the e-commerce giant is facing fines of up to 2 billion dollars.
“That should really be considered assault, if it isn’t already,” another person wrote.
Unfortunately, while coal rolling is federally illegal, it remains legal in most states. Several states, however, including Maine, New Jersey, Maryland, Colorado, and Connecticut, have passed legislation outlawing the practice, and drivers have started witnessing coal-rolling trucks getting pulled over by the police.
“In Colorado…there is a number to call and you just have to report the plate number. The driver then gets a summons to have the vehicle inspected at an emissions testing facility and if it fails they have to pay to return the vehicle to stock,” explained one commenter.
Another added, “It’s federally illegal. You can report them no matter what state it is.”
If you witness coal rolling in a state where it is prohibited, you can search for ways to report smoking cars in your jurisdiction. If the practice is legal in your state, simply go up the ladder and report the perpetrator directly to the EPA.
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.