MASS TO BAN COAL ROLLING

By Bob Katzen

The Transportation Committee’s hearing included a proposal that would prohibit anyone driving a diesel-powered vehicle from releasing significant quantities of soot, smoke or other particular emissions that obstruct or obscure another driver’s view of the roadway. The measure also bans anyone from retrofitting a diesel-powered vehicle with a device, smokestack or other equipment that enhances the vehicle’s capacity to emit these pollutants. Violators would be fined from $100 to $1,000.

“Pedestrians, cyclists, and electric vehicles have long been favored targets for drivers of monster trucks “rolling coal” to intentionally spew huge clouds of diesel exhaust at their perceived enemies in the nation’s culture war,” said Paul Rauber in an article in the Sierra Club’s magazine.

“I filed this bill because it was brought to my attention by a constituent as a public safety and environmental issue,” said the measure’s sponsor Rep. Brian Murray (D-Milford). “Coal rolling serves no useful purpose. The exhaust generated consumes extra fuel and can be directed at other vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians which can pose a serious danger to others. And the unnecessary emissions are clearly harmful to the environment.”

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