It never fails - every year at Cruise Night, a lifted diesel pickup truck pulls right in front of roadside viewers and then does the infamous "rolling coal". These guys remind me well of the kid on the playground saying, "Hey y'all, look at me!"

"Rolling coal" refers to heavy black smoke belched from diesel pickups after they've been modified to do so. The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States says it's illegal, but it is still being done. While it's cool to watch, it's really a) annoying and b) not healthy, especially for people with respiratory problems. All I have to say now that I'm a grown adult with asthma is, "Not cool dude!"

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So I'm driving down the infamous "construction crazy" Buffalo Gap Road, and there is a driver in a car who is refusing to go on the green light because the left-turn-arrow is red and she doesn't understand the current construction situation.

When the traffic starts moving, we transition to the five-lane part of Buffalo Gap Road. A big pick-up truck speeds around all of us and gets in front of the driver who held up traffic, then does the rolling coal thing and gasses all of us. I'll say it louder this time, "NOT COOL DUDE!"

I spoke with Sergeant Mark Couch of the Texas Department of Public Safety. He said, "Yes and no on the legality (misdemeanor) part because the violator must be caught red-handed doing it. Since the motor vehicle law is not clear, most states also have laws that prohibit drivers from obstructing roadways with excessive exhaust fumes, leaving police officers to make judgment calls."

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) law states:

Aftermarket modifications that disable emissions control technology are violations of the Clean Air Act.

"Rolling coal" falls under this category, as it significantly increases air pollution.

Here’s what you need to know about its legality in Texas:

  • Rolling coal is considered a misdemeanor in Texas, with a maximum fine of $350.
  • State law also authorizes cyclists to ride in lanes of traffic, which means coal rollers cannot intentionally obstruct them.
  • In summary, while rolling coal is illegal under federal legislation, enforcement varies in Texas. It’s a misdemeanor, but catching offenders red-handed remains a challenge.
    source: North Central Texas Council of Governments

The video below will give you an idea of the attitude behind the rolling coal phenomena. I'll say it again, "Not cool!"

Best Looking State Patrol Cars In (Almost) Every State

For the past 10 years, the American Association of State Troopers has held a contest to determine which state has the best looking patrol cruiser. Nearly every state police agency submits their best photo of their sharpest patrol vehicle a chance to win the coveted cover photo on the association's annual calendar. From cop cars rushing through blizzards to vehicles on the Grand Ole Opry stage, here are this year's nominees.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff

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