(April 18) – A bill by Reps. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, and Max Tyler, D-Lakewood, to prohibit the practice known as “rolling coal,” which is knowingly and intentionally blowing thick clouds of black smoke in order to harass pedestrians, bicyclists, or other drivers, passed out of the House on a 35-29 vote this morning.

“The city and law enforcement of Fort Collins asked me to introduce this bill,” said Rep. Ginal. “Over the last several years, we’ve seen an increase in people intentionally ‘rolling coal,’ but under current law it’s really difficult for police to take action. This bill will help them to better enforce the law.”

“This is about bad boys blowing smoke so thick it can blind pedestrians, bicyclists, or other drivers on the road,” said Rep. Tyler. “It’s important to listen to the people and officers who asked the legislature to take action against this.”

HB16-1319 creates a Class A traffic infraction for the “intentional exhibition of smoke.” In order to receive a citation, a driver must knowingly and intentionally release soot, smoke, or particulate emissions in a manner that creates a safety hazard or obstructs another person’s view of the road. The bill only applies to light-duty diesel trucks (14,000 pounds or less).

The bill is supported by the County Sheriffs of Colorado, the City of Fort Collins, the Fort Collins Police Department, the Colorado Municipal League, the Diesel Technology Forum, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The bill proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

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