June 24, 2021

The Editor Speaks: The clampdown on window tinting may cause more accidents

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The vigorous current clampdown on what the RCIPS call illegal automobile window tinting may cause more accidents.

It is now worrisome to all motor vehicle users who have had tint applied to their windscreens that it may be illegal.

Without giving any warning they were going to go enact their own form of numbers game they have been merciless in booking motorists by the hundreds for exceeding their rules on what constituted illegal tinting.

Police have boasted they have issued 187 tickets for illegal tint during this month already, and it was only half way through.

It doesn’t matter that your car may have passed its annual test of roadworthiness by the Government Inspector, which includes testing window tint, the RCIPS have the final say.

In a Press Release sent out this week the RCIPS have taken great pains to state what the regulations are:

“Section 23 of the Traffic Regulations states that the front windscreen of a vehicle must allow at least 70 percent light transmission in either direction. The top of this windscreen is also permitted to have a strip of tinted glass of any degree of light transmission, not extending more than six inches down.

“The front side windows can be tinted, but must allow at least 35 percent light transmission in all circumstances. The rear windscreen and rear side windows may allow less than the 35 percent light transmission only if fitted by the manufacturer as standard equipment. All other tint applied to the rear windscreen and rear side windows shall allow at least 15 percent light transmission.”

These regulations do not apply to cars that have tinted windows fitted by the manufacturer as standard equipment. Presumably, then, you can purchase these cars with as darkened windows as you like.

It doesn’t really make sense all of this does it?

What this crack down does is make the RCIPS figures look very good when they show they are “doing their job”. The numbers game.

What it does not show is the annoyance it gives to the motorists, mostly innocent of this violation, who will now have a very different approach to helping the RCIPS with information.

To illustrate the point of ‘innocence’, Inspector Ian Yearwood of the Traffic and Roads Policing Unit, said, “We have had many people claiming not to know what the regulations are for tinting of vehicles. While that is not an excuse that we will accept if you are found to be driving with illegal tint, we are taking this opportunity to remind the public of exactly what the rules are. I would encourage any member of the public who is in violation to make the necessary adjustments so as to avoid being ticketed or sent to court.”

Not exactly good PR Inspector Yearwood.

Many people will now remove their window tint for fear of the police crackdown. How many of us have an instrument that can be used to measure the degree of tint. Is there an app that motorists can purchase and download to their smart phones that will measure the amount of tint on car windows?

It is a fact that tinting windows reduces glare and glare is a big cause of accidents. Not just sun glare but night time glare from car lights.

*“Lights affect everyone differently, and some people are simply more sensitive than others when it comes to driving. Some people don’t feel comfortable driving at night because they merely feel they can’t see what’s in front of them or behind them well enough to stay safe. One thing that can disrupt your driving experience is the glare of headlights or streetlights, particularly when they seem to come out of nowhere. If you see a harsh flash of light in your mirror, you may get distracted or momentarily disoriented. It can cause you to swerve or miss a new development on the road right in front on you, like an animal darting out into the street or a truck cutting you off. When properly applied, protection films can soften this glare, making the driver aware of what’s happening on the road, without being apprehensive about unexpected surprises. Window films can ultimately help you feel more confident that there’s nothing blocking your path when you switch lanes, merge or make a turn.”

Why You Should Do It

“When you drive, your senses are often being pulled in a hundred directions. Maybe you find the road hypnotic and feel sleepy, or maybe you’re easily startled by careless drivers. Driving comes with enough stress, so doing everything possible to make you a better driver is really a necessity rather than an indulgence. These privacy window films are especially imperative for people who feel less confident about their nighttime driving skills. Older drivers may find that they can no longer feel safe on the freeway and this could help them find their driving legs again. If you or someone you know has been noticing their vision slowly changing, this could end up being a lifesaver. The other benefit from car window film is that it keeps the glare out from the sun for better daytime visibility as well, meaning the driver will be safer at all hours.”

From Scorpion Window Glare.

The police would be far better employed patrolling every four lane/six lane highways we have from the speeding motorists who weave in and out, crisscrossing lanes and endangering every one of law abiding motorists who obey the speed regulations.

Since when has an illegal tint on a car window caused an accident?

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