Deciding to have your vehicle’s windows tinted is one of the smartest automotive decisions you can make. However, to avoid unwanted run-ins with the law, it is important to have the job done by an experienced professional.
Installing tint on your vehicle’s windows has a variety of advantages, including enhanced appearance and cooler interior temperatures during hot days. Unfortunately, darker window tint can impact safety and attract undesired attention from police officers, here is why.
Compromised Safety for Law Enforcement
A major reason why window tint regulations exist is to protect police officers from potentially dangerous situations. Excessively dark window tint can eliminate a police officer’s ability to make eye contact with individuals inside a vehicle and see what they are doing while approaching a stopped vehicle. Officers are put on high alert when approaching vehicles with very dark window tint, as the windows make it possible to conceal illegal activity.
Reduced Visibility for the Driver
Extremely dark windows on a vehicle can lead to dangerous situations for the driver and for others on the road, especially when combined with other factors that impact visibility such as night and poor weather. Cars with excessively dark windows can limit the driver’s ability to interpret images on their side mirrors, as well as prevent eye contact between the driver and others on the road, such as other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Monitoring Seat Belt and Cell Phone Usage
In Canada, all provinces have laws regarding the usage of seat belts and mobile devices. If a car’s windows are tinted too much, police officers can’t enforce these regulations through passive visual inspections, and may have to pull vehicles over to confirm or discredit their suspicions. This is time consuming and annoying for both drivers and police officers.
How Dark is too Dark?
A rule of thumb for law enforcement is that officers must have a clear line of sight through both front windows of a car, however, each province in Canada has a different specific regulation regarding appropriate window tint. Some allow no films to be installed on the front windows, while others allow only certain tint percentages. If you are not sure about your local laws, the International Window Film Association keeps a convenient list that cross references all provinces with their current laws and exceptions. Exceptions to these rules are often made for people with medical conditions that are aggravated by sun exposure. If that is the case for you, be sure to consult your physician to see what your options are.
To avoid undesired run-ins with the police, and to make sure you get the best product for you, ensure that you consult an experienced window tint shop. As always, if you have any questions regarding automotive window tint, don’t hesitate to get in touch. What do you think?
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