Volume 11, Issue 3 - May/June 2007

Legislation


Alaska Puts the Blame on Tinters
The Alaska window tint law already limits the use of window film on vehicles, but an amendment to the law would make it a crime for an installer to apply illegal tinting. 

Alaska Senate Bill 78, sponsored by Senator Hollis French, amends section 1 of AS 28.35. The amended portion reads: A person commits the crime of improper installation of window tinting if the person in this state installs window tinting on a motor vehicle (1) on portions of vehicle windows not permitted by the department; or (2) that does not allow the level of light transmittance required by the department by regulation.”

The bill further reads, “Improper installation of window tinting is an infraction.” 

The current Alaska law allows vehicles to have a non-reflective tint on the top 5 inches of the windshields. No tint can be applied legally to the driver side and front passenger side windows, and the back side windows and rear window must allow in more than 37 percent light. 

“Currently it is illegal for a vehicle to be on Alaska’s roadways if the window tinting allows less than thirty percent of the light to transmit through the glass. However, it is not illegal for higher levels of tinting to be installed by auto detailing shops and similar businesses,” said a statement released by Senator Hollis. “SB 78 would close this loophole by making it a misdemeanor to install illegal window tinting. The bill would also help enforcement efforts by allowing police to ‘go to the source’ by bringing charges against installers.”The bill has been approved by the Senate and passed to the House. It was referred to the House transportation committee in early May.

Illinois Amends Exemption to Tint Law
The Illinois House and Senate have passed House Bill 0536, which amends section 5 of the Illinois Vehicle Code to provide additional leniency for individuals requiring tinted car windows for medical reasons. 

The law states that motor vehicles cannot have tint on the front windshield, sidelites or on the driver or front passenger side windows, and for only the top 6 inches of the windshield. However, the code provides an exemption that allows cars to be tinted if they are “owned and operated by a person afflicted with or suffering from a medical illness, ailment, or disease … which would require that person to be shielded from the direct rays of the sun.” The exemption also applies to automobiles used to transport these persons. The exemption states that this includes, but is “not limited to systemic or discoid lupus erythematosus, disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis or albinism.”

The amended bill removes the statement saying that this exemption does not apply to “window treatments” applied after the bill’s effective date. It also removes the stipulation that this does not apply to any vehicle on or after January 1, 2008.The bill will now go to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for approval. 

Halifax Laws Scrutinized
A ruling that outlaws tinted windows on taxis, but is permitting one limousine company in the city to keep its tinted windows, has angered many in Halifax, England. According to the Evening Courier, the Calderdale Council Licensing and Regulatory Committee voted to exempt Michael Rathmell of Connex Travel from the ruling, which was instated to protect passengers in taxis from possible abuse. The committee’s reasoning for the exemption was that Rathmell’s vehicle, a Mercedes Viano, is used specifically for chauffeuring business clients.

Committee chairperson Grenville Horsfall stood up to those opposed to the exemption. “Connex Travel only does pre-arranged journeys,” he says. “If taxis picking people up from … the street have blacked-out windows, you cannot see what is going on inside.”

Stephen Smithies, secretary of the Halifax Taxi Owners Association, told the Evening Courier that he sees little difference between the two, but also has some concerns with film as a whole.

“I have never seen the need for blacked-out windows,” he says.


WINDOW FILM
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