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“Get smoked boys”: Driver filmed ‘rolling coal’ at cyclists

A lorry driver from Somerset posted the video of a motorist ‘rolling coal’ at two cyclists on a country lane

A motorist who was filmed deliberately blowing black smoke at two cyclists from the modified exhaust of his 4x4 has been described as “immature” and “a plonker”.

A lorry driver from Somerset posted the expletive-laden video on Facebook under the caption “Do you reckon she passes the emissions test?”

The footage shows two men in a muddied vehicle as they approach two cyclists on a narrow country road. The passenger tells the driver: “go on, do ‘em. Smoke the c**ts”. The driver then blows a huge cloud of black exhaust smoke at the cyclists as he overtakes them, while one of the men in the vehicle laughs, “get smoked boys”.

The process, which is known as ‘rolling coal’ and sees the exhaust emit thick plumes of black smoke, originated on the truck racing scene in the United States. Some motorists now illegally modify their vehicles to produce the same effect.

> ‘Rolling coal’ is assault, says District Attorney

In September 2021, a sixteen year old crashed into a group of six cyclists in Texas after allegedly ‘rolling coal’ at them in a Ford F-250 pick-up truck. The teenager was charged in November with six counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The Facebook account from which this week's footage originated appears to belong to either the passenger or driver in the video. The same account posted an image of a 4x4 vehicle with a modified exhaust at the beginning of January. The man works for a haulage firm based in Bristol.

The video has been shared over 13,000 times since it was posted on Wednesday. While the action was criticised by local cycling groups on Facebook, one of the comments under the original video described the modified vehicle as “everyone’s new car after the new UK laws about cyclists”.

If anyone knows the victims or has been subjected to a similar incident, please get in touch with us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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34 comments

Avatar
Gennysis | 2 years ago
5 likes

Seems like the kind of attitude you don't want behind the wheel of a HGV.

 

He's boasting about having a professional licence on his page.

 

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srchar | 2 years ago
8 likes

Not sure what's worse, being such a waste of skin that you'd do that, or being such a monumental berk that you're proud enough to share it.

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AidanR | 2 years ago
8 likes

Leaving aside the horrible and infantile targeting of cyclists, what kind of moron modifies their vehicle to produce criminal levels of pollution when we're staring down the barrel of the climate crisis?

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HoarseMann replied to AidanR | 2 years ago
4 likes

A moron who never learns. Given that his last land rover got destroyed in a barn fire, you would think he wouldn't be thrashing its replacement just before it's parked up.

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HoarseMann | 2 years ago
2 likes

This is the location of the incident, for anyone in the area to be aware when riding around those lanes.

https://goo.gl/maps/UDsqvk58NSWzHxda9

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open_roads replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
1 like

Banwell is pretty close to Chew Valley and Velvet Bottom - where there were 2 x cyclists pushed off for fun by a land rover discovery driver. One of them had a shattered pelvis from memory.

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HoarseMann replied to open_roads | 2 years ago
3 likes

It could well be the same individual.

Now that we know where it happened and therefore which police force to contact, what's stopping someone putting in a police report? It doens't have to be the victim (in fact, they're usually called a witness anyway). Witnessing a crime being committed online, is still witnessing a crime.

The only thing missing is the time of the incident. But there's CCTV on the house they went past, so the police could possibly get the whole incident, car registration and even who's behind the wheel from that.

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open_roads | 2 years ago
1 like

Does anyone have the means to copy or save the video before it's deleted? 

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HoarseMann replied to open_roads | 2 years ago
6 likes

yep got it

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marmotte27 | 2 years ago
6 likes

I'm sure they could be prosecuted under several laws. But will they.

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marmotte27 replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
11 likes

Putting someone in danger by deliberately impairing their view in traffic must be punishable, as must be endangering their health with noxious substances and polluting the environment. The alterations to the vehicle are surely illegal, too.

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marmotte27 replied to marmotte27 | 2 years ago
12 likes

Ok, didn't see who I was replying to, but now it's done...

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Flintshire Boy replied to marmotte27 | 2 years ago
0 likes

And why would that make a difference?

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Rendel Harris replied to marmotte27 | 2 years ago
11 likes

The modification of the vehicle by removing the catalytic converters is illegal in itself so they could be prosecuted under construction and use laws. As for offences against the cyclists, I'm sure the driver could be prosecuted under those sections of Common Assault law which deal with causing a reasonable person to fear an assault, also the same sections dealing with offences such as spitting at another person. A test case might be required to establish a precedent though.

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giff77 replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
6 likes

Garage at Large wrote:

Clearly very immature, yobbish behaviour, and worse in a residential area. I'm not sure if there is a law to prosecute however - for example there is a specific law in the road traffic act against splashing someone with a puddle, but I'm not sure the same thing applies to fumes. Which laws were you thinking of?

Just because you've asked.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modifying-your-vehicles-emiss...
 

So while an assault charge is unlikely the police could go down the ** road unworthy vehicle which carries s pretty hefty fine. Years ago a mate was pulled over as his car was belching black smoke  the peeler had strong words with him and gave him a producer with the advise that if he didn't show up with evidence of the repair a summons would be issued.   

** that doesn't look right unroadworthy vehicle was what I was saying  but you all knew that anyway   

 

 

 

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Haitchaitch replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
5 likes

Driving without due care for other road users. I would imagine it applies the same in this case. 

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giff77 replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
6 likes

It comes under the 'careless driving' charge. See image for points and duration on licence. Oh and here's the link in case you think I'm telling porkies. https://www.gov.uk/penalty-points-endorsements/endorsement-codes-and-pen...
 

Mr Freeman no doubt will tell us they were attempting to clear their fuel pump/lines and the cyclists were unfortunately on the road at the time. 

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giff77 replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
2 likes

If I was in the police following I would at the very least be pulling them over for excessive exhaust fumes and having the vehicle inspected. I would possibly consider a careless driving charge due to the excessive fumes and the presence of the cyclists as a smooth acceleration would not have produced the volume of fumes here. If not a charge then friendly words of advice. 
 

I showed the clip to a friend who is ex-police and he said they would be looking at unroadworthy vehicle for definite and possibly carelesss or a severe rollicking. 
 

I've been passed on numerous occasions in the country by these jeep type vehicles and lorries and never have I experienced something like that and hope never will. 

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Wingguy replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
5 likes

Garage at Large wrote:

...I don't need a top lawyer or road safety expert to know that as it's basic common sense.

You used almost exactly that same phrase to argue that simply riding as a group of leisure cyclists was legally "without due consideration" of other road users. Now you're using it to argue that rolling coal (which is illegal in its own right, let alone when intentionally directed at people) is totally fine.

Give over yourself, you sociopathic troll.

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JustTryingToGet... replied to giff77 | 2 years ago
5 likes

That would be the one. Obviously some fucktards would think the decision rests on the proven impact, rather than the possible consequence or as in this case, the very likely intent.

Though I'm sure that there are lawyers out there who specialise in finding loopholes for dangerous privks that shouldn't be on the road.

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zero_trooper replied to giff77 | 2 years ago
1 like

a.k.a. Inconsiderate Driving

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quiff replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
3 likes
Garage at Large wrote:

If such a law called "driving without due care for other road users" existed, the driver might very well be guilty of it.

But as it's a figment of your imagination, I don't think it would get very far in court!

Please can you provide a reference for the "specific law in the road traffic act against splashing someone with a puddle"?

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quiff replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
10 likes

Yes, as I thought. So when Haitchhaitch slightly mis-named an actual offence under s.3 RTA 1988, you scoffed and called it "a figment of their imagination", but when you invented "a specific law in the road traffic act" you simply "miswrote"? We have different ideas of politeness and courtesy.

Given that the charging guideline includes your puddle spashing example, I think giff77 was quite right to suggest coal rolling could also fall within the careless driving category shown in the image.

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Gus T replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
6 likes

Garage at Large wrote:

Clearly very immature, yobbish behaviour, and worse in a residential area. I'm not sure if there is a law to prosecute however - for example there is a specific law in the road traffic act against splashing someone with a puddle, but I'm not sure the same thing applies to fumes. Which laws were you thinking of?

What happened to being polite to other road users or does that only apply to cyclists 

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Rendel Harris replied to Gus T | 2 years ago
7 likes

Gus T wrote:

What happened to being polite to other road users or does that only apply to cyclists 

I think it depends on whether the wankpanzer driver was making a meaningful journey from A to B, obviously in Garbageworld it is physically impossible for the cyclists to be making an MJ so the behaviour probably falls under the aegis of the "understandable annoyance" get-out-of-jail-free card. 

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PRSboy replied to marmotte27 | 2 years ago
10 likes

I'm sure modifying a vehicle such that it fails emissions standards means the vehicle is not roadworthy and could mean points and a fine. 

In addition, the act was clearly meant as assault. 
 

Probably one of those 'One Life Live It' wankers who despoil there countryside, like those horrid scrambler bikes that should also be banned. 

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
6 likes

After that case in the USA, rolling coal was described as an illegal assault; I wonder if the same applies here.

Immature and a plonker?  I do so love the English understatement; cretinous, arrogant, infantile are slightly closer.  I do hope someone recognises them and they get prosecuted, with the confiscation of the item they used to commit the crime; their vehicle.

I wonder if this is the same person who deliberately close passed a group of us near Chew Valley Lake a few years ago.  Reported to the police but they'd used fake plates, so no further action.

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HoarseMann replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
4 likes

eburtthebike wrote:

I wonder if this is the same person who deliberately close passed a group of us near Chew Valley Lake a few years ago.  Reported to the police but they'd used fake plates, so no further action.

Have a look at his facebook photos, quite a lot of his cars and motorbikes over the years are on there for all to see.

This would appear to be the vehicle used. Quite distinctive...

edit: better photo https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10226424966320888

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eburtthebike replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
2 likes

OMG; thanks I think.  I wished I hadn't looked at that, and the thought of sharing the road with someone like that armed with a gigantic truck is terrifying.  I'm sure he's going to be following the new HC rules.

The absolutely stereotypical truck driver, petrolhead and infant, but no sign of the car in my incident, but he has to be high on the list of suspects.

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HoarseMann replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
4 likes

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