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Rolling coal - The legal perspective.

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Rolling coal - The legal perspective.

Old 08-25-19, 08:47 AM
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bakerjw
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Rolling coal - The legal perspective.

Cycling advocacy involves getting involved by making your thoughts concerns on cycling infrastructure known with officials that make decisions as well as being informed on laws regarding cyclists rights and protections. IMHO it is very prudent to memorize laws such as the 3' laws that many states have adopted and to hold LEOs accountable for enforcing those laws.
As it stands I am on very good terms with my state representative and senator and I regularly e-mail them on matters that I think are important. Recently I contacted them regarding the illegality of "rolling coal" on people going about their business in a normal manner. We've seen it done to cyclists as well as people protesting in a lawful and legal manner on sidewalks.
My state representative had his assistant work with the Tennessee legal department (It is used by all representatives and senators for legal research and guidance). This is what my reps office was told. TCA stands for Tennessee Code Annotated.

I will be meeting with my representative here in the next month or so and this will probably be a topic. Although already codified as illegal in the TCA, I would like to see this as well as general harassment of cyclists detailed a bit better than it is.

I realize that enforcement of something like this rarely happens but if we are equipped with the knowledge of why it is illegal based on the details of the law, we have a better chance to make our case.

Rolling coal is illegal under federal law [42 U.S. Code § 7522(a)(3)], and is a civil penalty punishable by up to a $2500 fine [42 U.S. Code § 7524(a)]. In July 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency stated that the practice was illegal, as it violated the Clean Air Act which prohibits the manufacturing, sale, and installation "of a part for a motor vehicle that bypasses, defeats, or renders inoperative any emission control device [and] prohibits anyone from tampering with an emission control device on a motor vehicle by removing it or making it inoperable prior to or after the sale or delivery to the buyer."

The act of rolling coal is illegal under existing Tennessee state laws, as follows:

T.C.A. § 39-13-101 states, in part:
(a) A person commits assault who:
(2) Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury;”

T.C.A. § 39-17-307 states:
(a) A person commits an offense who, without legal privilege, intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:
(1) Obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, elevator, aisle, or hallway to which the public, or a substantial portion of the public, has access; or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles or conveyances, whether the obstruction arises from the person’s acts alone or from the person’s acts and the acts of others; or
. . . .
(b) For purposes of this section, “obstruct” means to render impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or potentially injurious to persons or property.

T.C.A. § 55-8-136 states, in part:
“(b) Notwithstanding any speed limit or zone in effect at the time, or right-of-way rules that may be applicable, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care by operating the vehicle at a safe speed, by maintaining a safe lookout, by keeping the vehicle under proper control and by devoting full time and attention to operating the vehicle, under the existing circumstances as necessary in order to be able to see and to avoid endangering life, limb or propertyand to see and avoid colliding with any other vehicle or person, or any road sign, guard rail or any fixed object either legally using or legally parked or legally placed, upon any roadway, within or beside the roadway right-of-way including, but not limited to, any adjacent sidewalk, bicycle lane, shoulder or berm.”

T.C.A. § 55-9-202 states:
(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any road, street or highway unless the motor vehicle is equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke.
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Old 08-25-19, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
Cycling advocacy involves getting involved by making your thoughts concerns on cycling infrastructure known with officials that make decisions as well as being informed on laws regarding cyclists rights and protections. IMHO it is very prudent to memorize laws such as the 3' laws that many states have adopted and to hold LEOs accountable for enforcing those laws.
As it stands I am on very good terms with my state representative and senator and I regularly e-mail them on matters that I think are important. Recently I contacted them regarding the illegality of "rolling coal" on people going about their business in a normal manner. We've seen it done to cyclists as well as people protesting in a lawful and legal manner on sidewalks.
My state representative had his assistant work with the Tennessee legal department (It is used by all representatives and senators for legal research and guidance). This is what my reps office was told. TCA stands for Tennessee Code Annotated.

I will be meeting with my representative here in the next month or so and this will probably be a topic. Although already codified as illegal in the TCA, I would like to see this as well as general harassment of cyclists detailed a bit better than it is.

I realize that enforcement of something like this rarely happens but if we are equipped with the knowledge of why it is illegal based on the details of the law, we have a better chance to make our case.

Rolling coal is illegal under federal law [42 U.S. Code § 7522(a)(3)], and is a civil penalty punishable by up to a $2500 fine [42 U.S. Code § 7524(a)]. In July 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency stated that the practice was illegal, as it violated the Clean Air Act which prohibits the manufacturing, sale, and installation "of a part for a motor vehicle that bypasses, defeats, or renders inoperative any emission control device [and] prohibits anyone from tampering with an emission control device on a motor vehicle by removing it or making it inoperable prior to or after the sale or delivery to the buyer."

The act of rolling coal is illegal under existing Tennessee state laws, as follows:

T.C.A. § 39-13-101 states, in part:
(a) A person commits assault who:
(2) Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury;”

T.C.A. § 39-17-307 states:
(a) A person commits an offense who, without legal privilege, intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:
(1) Obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, elevator, aisle, or hallway to which the public, or a substantial portion of the public, has access; or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles or conveyances, whether the obstruction arises from the person’s acts alone or from the person’s acts and the acts of others; or
. . . .
(b) For purposes of this section, “obstruct” means to render impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or potentially injurious to persons or property.

T.C.A. § 55-8-136 states, in part:
“(b) Notwithstanding any speed limit or zone in effect at the time, or right-of-way rules that may be applicable, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care by operating the vehicle at a safe speed, by maintaining a safe lookout, by keeping the vehicle under proper control and by devoting full time and attention to operating the vehicle, under the existing circumstances as necessary in order to be able to see and to avoid endangering life, limb or propertyand to see and avoid colliding with any other vehicle or person, or any road sign, guard rail or any fixed object either legally using or legally parked or legally placed, upon any roadway, within or beside the roadway right-of-way including, but not limited to, any adjacent sidewalk, bicycle lane, shoulder or berm.”

T.C.A. § 55-9-202 states:
(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any road, street or highway unless the motor vehicle is equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke.
And what case would that be... ??? That it is a nuisance that some of these morons do this...??? It's already Illegal, to do this,... in-force the law, that, actually is all that is needed to be done... JMO...

EDIT; It's like all these jacked up trucks on the road today, TOTALY illegal,, bumpers have to be at a certain height to work, it is that simple, when I drive my Prius and come up to one of these jacked up trucks, I look at their bumper and say to myself... WTF, In a crash , my face would be F'd before the airbag would deploy because my bumper hasn't hit anything yet to signal a crash is happening... ...

EDITt #2; IN other words... Just start to enforce the laws already there...

Last edited by 350htrr; 08-25-19 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 08-27-19, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
And what case would that be... ??? That it is a nuisance that some of these morons do this...??? It's already Illegal, to do this,... in-force the law, that, actually is all that is needed to be done... JMO...

EDIT; It's like all these jacked up trucks on the road today, TOTALY illegal,, bumpers have to be at a certain height to work, it is that simple, when I drive my Prius and come up to one of these jacked up trucks, I look at their bumper and say to myself... WTF, In a crash , my face would be F'd before the airbag would deploy because my bumper hasn't hit anything yet to signal a crash is happening... ...

EDITt #2 ; IN other words... Just start to enforce the laws already there...
This is true. That is apparently why, in UT, the state finally set up a hotline specifically because the police weren't enforcing the ban on rolling coal (zero citations or even warnings in the first two years). Now there is a hotline to report vehicles. This makes it so citizens don't have to wait for cops to do their jobs, and the reports go to the department of health, which is responsible for vehicle emissions testing, and not the cops.

https://slco.org/health/report-a-problem/smoking-motor-vehicle/
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Old 08-27-19, 04:48 PM
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I wish they'd do that for noise laws too.
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Old 08-30-19, 07:20 PM
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If you live in California, you can report these vehicles to the Air Resources Board.

https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/prog...oking-vehicles
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