Now Law: Roll Coal No More

(June 5) – A bill by Rep. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, to prohibit the practice known as “coal rolling” was signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper this afternoon.

“This new law protects Coloradans against people who are intentionally blowing thick clouds of black smoke to harass pedestrians, other cars or bicyclists—unfortunately a growing trend in Colorado,” said Rep. Ginal. “This issue was originally brought to my attention by Fort Collins police who have been struggling to deal with this problem. This bill is designed to give local law enforcement and sheriffs a tool to discourage coal rolling and help keep our streets safe and our air clean.”

SB17-278 creates a Class A traffic infraction for the “intentional exhibition of smoke.” 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 law has been supported by Bicycle Colorado, Bike Fort Collins, 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.

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