Volume 10, Issue 3                              May/June  2006


NEWSWORTHY

LEGAL

New Tint-Law in Mississippi

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour signed a new law on March 23, 2006 that bars vehicles registered in the state from having “any glazing material which causes a mirrored effect” on any of the windows of the car. It bars tint, glazing or “darkening material of any kind” on the windshield of vehicles registered in the state, with the exception of “material designed to replace or provide a sun shield in the uppermost area as authorized to be installed by manufacturers of vehicles under federal law.” The law took effect immediately.

Additionally, effective July 1, 2006, requires any vehicle with tinted windows to have a label on its windshield “certifying that all windows of the vehicle have a light transmittance of 28 percent or more” or the operator must have a certificate of medical exemption. Owners of vehicles with tinted windows will be able to get them inspected at inspection stations at a cost of $5. The maximum penalty for operating a vehicle with illegally tinted windows is a fine of $1000, three months in jail or both.

The International Window Film Association (IWFA) and its membership in Mississippi have worked with Mississippi legislators for two years to bring about these changes to local law. The IWFA says it is pleased with the outcome. Issuing a legislative alert statement, the IWFA warned window film shops in Mississippi about the necessity of abiding by the new law.

“It should also be noted that our industry must fully comply with the standards of this law. Any actions that could be seen as ignoring or pushing the limits will create problems for the industry. Remember that all it takes is for one legislator to modify this law with future legislative proposals. The industry has successfully addressed the challenges presented in this state over the last ten years that were the most potentially detrimental to the industry. We now have a good law with all members better understanding the issue and participating in the resolution of the problems. We must support this effort. Anyone who fails to do so will be fined and place these efforts in jeopardy,” the statement said.
While the law is a victory for the window film industry, a culmination of work to ensure equality and fairness for the tint-shop owners, the immediate implementation has left some shop owners in a quandary.

“It’s still unclear. We can’t get anyone to give us an ironclad story as to what it actually means,” said Steve Braun, owner of Tupelo Tint in Tupelo, Miss. “We hear it’s this but then the state troopers come in and say no, it’s something else. I don’t know what to put on vehicles right now.”

Clearing up the confusion is the next step in the process, and one on which IWFA legislative consultant Lynwood Butner is currently working, aiming to spread the word to all of those involved. Stay tuned to Window Film magazine for more information on what went into the Mississippi bill and other legislative efforts the IWFA is undertaking.
With the state having implemented other changes to the law on window film in the past, Braun expects the confusion to get worse before it gets better.

“When they changed it to 35 percent, it took three months to get it cleaned up and everyone on the same page. I expect it to take about that long this time,” he said.

To read a .pdf of House Bill 1215 as it was sent to Governor Barbour, visit Window Film magazine online and click on Film Extras. 

COMPANIES 
SCHOTT to Manufacture Solar Products in Jena
SCHOTT, the technology group based in Mainz, Germany, is investing $60 million Euros (approximately $73 million USD) to enable its subsidiary, SCHOTT Solar GmbH, to build a manufacturing facility for thin-film solar electricity modules in Jena, Germany. The manufacturing capacity of the new facility is expected to exceed 30 megawatts (MW) per year. The facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007 and add 160 new jobs at its site. 

“The establishment of this solar factory represents yet another milestone in our efforts to expand our solar activities. This investment means we will be expanding our thin-film technology to the industrial series production level. As a result, we’ll be rising to the world’s leading manufacturers in this field, as well,” explained Dr. Udo Ungeheuer, chairperson of the board of management of SCHOTT AG. 

“With this solar investment we bring another new business to Jena, and we strengthen the location where SCHOTT was founded,” he added. 

The new production facility will manufacture thin-film solar electricity modules based on amorphous silicon. This process calls for silicon to be vapor-deposited onto glass. One advantage that thin film technology offers is that a low amount of raw material silicon is required. In addition, these modules can be put to use in a number of flexible ways. For the most part, amorphous silicon (ASI) thin film modules are integrated into glazing applications that involve windows, roofs and facades where they allow for interesting architectural approaches in conjunction with environmentally-friendly generation of energy. In addition, smaller thin film modules are used to supply power in consumer electronic products, such as solar powered watches, backyard lights and electrical appliances. WF

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