Refine laws on window tinting and glazing
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Window tint/glazing laws in Alberta are out of date and used as a cash grab to stop safe and responsible drivers. The volume of which tickets are being assigned show that window tint is providing value to the people of Alberta. By keeping their car cool, using less energy, and blocking out sun from their eyes.
Places like California have embraced the benefits and safety concerns of citizens and even encouraged window tinting to reduce energy usage. As long as the net light transmission of 70% or higher on the front sides of the vehicle. (CALIFORNIA TINT LAW ENACTED: 1999) Alberta is so strict, that "A person shall not install, replace or cover the window glazing in a windshield or in a left or right side window of a motor vehicle that is beside or forward of the driver with a transparent, translucent or opaque material." This is in comparison to places like Ontario that utilize the 35% light transmission guideline. - http://www.calgary.ca/cps/Pages/Traffic/Vehicle-modifications.aspx - http://www.iwfa.com/News/StateLawCharts-AutomotiveWindowFilm.aspx
Why are tinted windows illegal?
If the vehicle is involved in a collision the glass is designed to break into small pieces, the window film doesn’t allow this to happen and the glass can become a large sharp object, possibly causing injury to the occupants. - Windsheilds generally already contain a layer of film inbetween the panes that holds the glass together into one large chunk. It's more likely that during a minor collision, tint will hold the glass in place enough to reduce the chance of glass shards/beads flying into the face and eyes of the driver. During more serious incidents, it's unlikely that the tint film will have any effect on the glass breaking and forming into large shards.
Tinted windows decrease the vision depth that a driver observes through the window, reducing his/her perception of objects through the window. Actually, this was proven incorrect in most cases with people that have good vision. This is where window tint should be used at discretion. If you can't see through it- it's too dark guys!
Hum Factors. 2000 Summer;42(2):327-36.
Effect of aftermarket automobile window tinting films on driver vision.
LaMotte J1, Ridder W 3rd, Yeung K, De Land P.
http://hfs.sagepub.com/content/42/2/327.long - Thanks to Reddit User U\BlackStrain for the open URL.
Police officers are unable to observe how many occupants may be in the vehicle during traffic stops. With the legislation today, where rear window tint is allowed. They are still unable to see how many occupants are in the vehicle during traffic stops. At a check-stop, the front windshield should be able to provide an unobstructed view of the passengers in the car.
Civilians are unable to identify occupants should the vehicle be involved in a hit and run or possible road rage incident. We're asking for tint to be looked at and regulated in a fair manor. There's little denying that full 5% tint on the front windows is likely a bad idea. But a light tint would provide some relief from the sun, some protection in an accident or theft, and still allow people to view through the glass easily.
One of the biggest issues in Alberta right now is that law enforcement are being forced to enforce laws that make no sense. I have nothing against police officers, most of the ones I have dealt with have been wonderful people. I'd really like them keeping me safe, not wasting their time pulling over safe and courteous drivers just because outdated legislation has it out for window tint. It's legislation like this that causes citizens to be in uncomfortable and unfriendly situations with law enforcement. We should be working together to build a safe and functional set of guidelines to protect and engage everyone in our community.
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