Change NYS Vehicle Tint Laws
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In today's world, people are losing their privacy at an alarming rate. Many people want to maintain that privacy, especially when driving their cars. To do this, they get tints installed on their vehicle. This gives them a sense of safety and security, as well as the privacy they deserve in their own cars. Additionally, many people add tints to protect themselves and their children from the ever increasing, harmful effects of the sun's UV rays. People who purchase tinting for their vehicle are wide-ranging: from soccer moms to business men to travelling salesmen to you and me. Gone are the days when tints was for "gangsters and thugs". Tinting the windows on your vehicle is a common, respectable thing these days. In fact, many states allow it.
New York State has some of the most archaic and backwards laws when it comes to tinting, and Mayor de Blasio and others are trying to make it worse. Currently, a sedan or coupe can only have a 70% tint on the sides (a note about tints: the lower the percent, the darker the tint; 70% is basically clear), but can darken the rear windshield. An SUV, truck or van, however, can darken everything except the front driver and passenger windows. In fact, vans and trucks do not even have to have windows in the back. Opponents of tint claim these laws help protect police, because they ensure they can see in the vehicle and know how many people there are, and where they are. This is completely untrue. If safety was the primary concern, why would you be allowed to black out the back of larger cars, where more people could be, but not on smaller two seaters? The answer is simple: tinted windows do NOT reduce safety.
In 2007, an NYPD police officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop. His death was a great loss to the city and us all. Many of our friends and family members work in law enforcement and other uniformed services in the NYC area, and we grieve the loss of this officer and every other officer killed in the line of duty along with everyone. Mayor de Blasio has chosen to politicize his death, to use it to push through stricter tint laws. (http://nypost.com/2016/11/22/city-urges-cuomo-to-crack-down-on-cars-with-tinted-windows/ The reality is, tints on that vehicle did not kill the officer. A criminal with a gun did. Further, de Blasio's claim that if the tint laws were stricter, the officers would have been able to see into the car and wouldn't have been shot, is totally false. The criminal who fired the shots was in an SUV. Under state law, including the stricter enforcement de Blasio is trying to push through, the entire back end of that SUV can be tinted. As such, officers behind the vehicle would not have been able to see in until they were next to the vehicle, regardless if the front windows were tinted or not. The back windows on an SUV come from the factory with an 18% tint. So even if you could say the tints had a part in this horrific crime, the law de Blasio is pushing would not have any affect on that. The fact remains that a criminal with a gun, and a society hostile toward police, fired those shots and killed the officer. His death should not be used to pass meaningless laws that won't solve the problem.
The passage of this new law de Blasio is calling for is wrong. People have a right to privacy in their cars. They have a right to UV protection, a right to feel safe. Tinted windows do not pose a safety risk. The vast majority of our customers are upstanding citizens, not criminals and thugs. Further, if this law goes through, it will effectively end the automotive tinting industry in New York, costing thousands of workers their jobs, destroying companies, and reducing tax revenue from lost sales. We must fight back against this unjust policy.
We ask Governor Cuomo to not only veto any legislation that would require tint checks at annual inspection, but also to update the tint laws to reflect changing times. Many states, including our neighbor Connecticut, allow dark tints on the back, and the front driver and passenger windows to be tinted at 35%. A 35% tint can still be seen through, and gives law enforcement officers plenty of visibility, while giving shade, UV protection and privacy to the vehicle's occupants. New York should allow tinting to 35% VLT on the front windows, and 5% VLT on the rear sides and back.
Help us keep our shop, and many others, open, and keep thousands of New Yorkers working!
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