Where Tinting and the Law Collide

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Honest people truly enjoy the privacy that tinted car windows can provide but so do criminals. It is sad to note, but stuff that should be as harmless darkened windowpanes have become a concern for law enforcement officials. This is because the privacy afforded by the tinted glass can hide some very serious criminal dealings. The problem has grown to the point where in foreign countries, notably India; major restrictions are being placed on the use of window film on the windows of automobiles.

Organized crime and the possibility of shady dealings are the attention grabbers in the media. Dirty deals are not the primary reason for restrictions being placed on tinted glass, and in fact there are important safety reasons as well for the tinting laws. It is imperative that a driver be able to clearly see the road ahead when driving. Tinting that is a shade too dark can inhibit the driver’s view and can cause accidents.

The restrictions on tinting are something that is handled on the state level. The legal codes are replete with terminology such as light transmittance, which refers to the light and visibility allowed by the tint. Each state has its own position on the issue and is reflected in the statutes. The main factor in these laws is the amount of sunlight the tint will allow into the vehicle. For example, state of New York requires that front side windows and backside windows must allow more than 70% of light to be allowed in. The windshield can have nonreflective tint on the top 6 inches. This is in dramatic contrast to the state of Texas, which requires more than 25% of light in for both front side and backside windows and nonreflective tint is allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturers AS-1 line. Violations of the law can result in various levels of penalty. The state of Ohio considers a violation of the Ohio Window Tint Law to be a misdemeanor with a fine up to $100.

Tinting laws are not draconian. It is recognized that for medical reasons some people will require their automobile windows to be tinted. Consequently, exemptions based on medical necessity are often written into the statutes. Conditions such as lupus, melanoma, or sunlight allergy may permit the car owner to have tinting that is above the stated requirement. However, it will require that applications be completed for such exemptions. The various state departments of public safety will have the necessary forms. It is strongly recommended that any permit or notice of medical necessity be kept in the glove compartment and produced upon request by a public official or police officer.

Tinting laws have the welfare and safety of the public at their base. While it does mean that the ride is little bit warmer than it could be, the car is a bit safer than without the restrictions. Traffic accidents are a serious problem both in city and on the open road. The restrictions on tinted glass are one means of trying to make automobile transportation less of a safety hazard.

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