Somehow, America has gotten to a point where we need the government to tell us to stop spewing black unburned diesel fuel all over our fellow citizens. We’re all a bunch of idiots, really.
Maryland’s House Bill 11 just passed yesterday, meaning childish coal-rolling hillbillies in diesel picks are going to have to stop “intentionally causing a diesel-powered motor vehicle to discharge clearly visible smoke, soot, or other exhaust emissions onto another person or motor vehicle.” That’s a direct quote from the bill, though to the more clever among us, that’s also known as “common sense.”
And in case you’re wondering, the reason why Maryland has to hold its citizens’ hands is because heavy duty pickup owners around the country keep shooting soot onto protesters, bicyclists, Toyota Priuses and other things not considered tough, manly, macho or whatever you want to call it.
The bill, which just passed into law on the May 25 and will go into effect on October 1, includes a fine of up to $500, though there are three key exceptions:
The prohibition does not apply to a person operating (1) a diesel-powered vehicle that discharges visible exhaust as the result of normal acceleration or towing; (2) a commercial vehicle with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more; or (3) a construction vehicle operating at a construction site.
I’ll admit that some of these exceptions are a bit questionable. For one, the bit about discharging visible exhaust as a result of “normal acceleration or towing” is highly subjective. But let’s forget about that, because number two is the strange one. A Ram 3500 diesel has a GVWR higher than 10,000 pounds, and it’s definitely considered a commercial vehicle. Why would that be an exception? That’s like, the quintessential coal rolling machine.
Still, the idea behind the bill seems fairly straightforward—just don’t blow fuel into people’s faces and risk causing them respiratory issues. And for god’s sake, stop messing with Prius owners; they’ve got enough insecurities to worry about. But despite this being a fairly basic and reasonable bill, not everyone was behind it:
There were 30 naysayers in the House and 11 in the Senate:
Strangely, and totally unpredictably, the 41 folks who said “nay” to the bill were all from the same political party. Is there some sort of correlation between political viewpoints and propensity for wanting to emit huge plumes of smoke out of one’s exhaust pipe? I think I’m onto something, here.