Volume 9, Issue 3                                      May/June  2005

DEAR READER
        BRIGID O'LEARY


The More Things Change 

My fiance's great grandmother passed away recently, and we went home for the funeral. The last time either of us had been to Georgia was for Great Grandma’s 99th birthday—just six months earlier. Even though it had only been six months, a lot had changed.

When we were home for the birthday, the fiancé and I got to talking with his cousin Nathan. In the course of the conversation, my occupation came up. When I mentioned Window Film magazine, his face lit up. At that time, Georgia had just repealed the legislation setting limits on how dark windows could be tinted (see Newsworthy, page 6).
“I’m going to paint my windows black!” he said.

Surprised, I asked if he was going to get limo tint.

“No. I mean I’m actually going to paint my windows.”

However, in those six months between the birthday and the funeral, the Georgia law—or lack thereof—regarding window tint came under scrutiny and the governor has recently approved a new law.

Georgia, of course, is not the only state to legislate how dark windows can be tinted. It’s a fluid subject that is ever changing and presenting challenges to those in the industry. Les Shaver looks into what is happening in different states regarding the use of window tint on cars in this issue (see Legislative Battles, pages 22-25).

The topic came up at the International Window Film Conference, Expo and Tint-Off™ 2005 in Orlando in February, during the session on Professionalism and Ethics as well as at the manufacturer’s Q&A (see Magical Gathering, pages 12-15 for a recap of the weekend). Should you throw caution to the wind and tint to the taste of the customer, or should you follow state law to the letter and, in some cases, possibly turn away business? For some people the answer is obvious, but for others it’s not. Alternately, what do you do if your state is considering toughening the laws regarding window tint or already has some pretty strict standards in place? 

You could say the subject came up at the Tint-Off, too, as the competition takes place with film provided by IWFA manufacturer members according to the laws of the state in which the competition is held. So, for the competition, which was held in Orlando this year, auto glass Tint-Off contestants tinted with 35-percent film. So who won, you may ask? You can find out on page 20 in the Tint-Off recap, Tint-Off Hat Trick, and get to know the winner a little better in the “15 Minutes With” him on page 18. For the first time ever, an architectural glass Tint-Off was held and you can read about the inaugural event in the Tint-Off recap as well.

Summer months are fast approaching and window film will be in high(er) demand soon. With window film laws in flux in some states, there are sure to be many a window film shop owner, installer and customer watching the legislative process with interest.

I don’t know if Nathan ever did paint his car windows black. The funeral didn’t seem to be the appropriate time or place to ask; but you can bet that he’s probably not the only consumer out there waiting to see what the legislators decide.                                                                                                                                                           WF

Brigid O’Leary is the editor of Window Film magazine.

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