Tinted windows criticised by police

POLICE in Essex are asking car dealerships across the county to refuse requests from motorists to add tinted film to windscreens and windows after a recent spate of prosecutions.

POLICE in Essex are asking car dealerships across the county to refuse requests from motorists to add tinted film to windscreens and windows after a recent spate of prosecutions.

Police have learnt that several retailers are laying tint films onto front windscreens and front door windows, taking the light-entry levels below legal limits and leaving the driver open to prosecution for dangerous driving.

The dealerships are all being asked to remind their employees of the dangers of fitting tint to vehicles, which can increase the risk of the driver being in collision with another car or even a pedestrian.

The force is keen to raise awareness among drivers that they could not only be breaking the law by causing danger to themselves and other road users, but that tinted windows can, in some cases, invalidate insurance.


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The light standard for vehicle windscreens means front windows must allow at least 75% of light through, while side windows must admit 70%.

Road policing Inspector Nick Burston is hoping both retailers and drivers heed the warnings rather than risk prosecution.

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"There are a number of issues here and a lot of decent people may not realise that they are breaking the law," he said.

"Retailers who carry out work for those who want tinted windows are perhaps not making their customers aware of the law.

"We're not picking on motorists. We just want to make sure drivers are aware of this issue so that they don't find themselves in unnecessary bother.

"It's not fair to motorists if they don't know the rules."

Drivers could find their vehicles prohibited from moving, and face a fine of £60 as well as three points on their licence.

In the worst case scenario, a tinted window can render a car unsafe to drive, and could lead to a prosecution for dangerous driving.

If tinted windows are not declared to insurance companies, it can mean a policy is made invalid if the car is regarded as unsafe.

Essex has a number of road policing officers across the force who are specially trained to spot and deal with illegally-tinted vehicles.

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