Tint my ride; but new law may fine you for very dark windshield
Drivers across the country have a little over two weeks to remove dark tints from their vehicles. A statutory instrument will come into effect to regulate tinting, a measure taken to deter criminals from hiding behind the tint to conceal their identity. In the following story, News Five’s Isani Cayetano looks at the acceptable level of tints prescribed by the new regulations.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
On June first the Traffic Department will begin cracking down on vehicle owners whose windows and windshields do not meet the newly implemented standard of tinting. In the streets of Belize City two out of every five cars we counted have exceptionally dark tints, well outside of the accepted parameters. Nigel Espat, proprietor of Auto Zone, explains the shades of film used in tinting.
Nigel Espat, Proprietor, Auto Zone
“Tint you can buy it in three percent, five percent, ten percent, twenty percent, thirty-five percent and what the new S.I. is dictating for the two front door windows is fifty percent that is, for me, has proven very difficult to source because it’s not very common.”
A statutory instrument was recently passed to regulate tinting in light of the present crime situation plaguing the country. But while the public is expected to remove dark tints from their vehicles government officials are still driving around with relatively obscure windows. Prime Minister Barrow recently commented on the enforcement of the new law.
“I don’t believe in tinting. No but there can be no exceptions. Perhaps the police, I don’t know whether, or the military whether they might be able to make some kind of a case but regular politicians, regular GOB officials, regular municipal body officials absolutely not. The law must apply to them with equal force, equal rigor.”
“Will this be implemented by police as well as Traffic [Department]?”
“Yes. That’s the whole idea that, remember we had talked earlier about trying to ensure that the police deal as well with quality of life offences. I am not sure that this is under that broad heading but the notion that the police should cast their net as widely as possible is very much one that we believe in and so they will be expected to help with the enforcement of the regulations too.”
According to Errol Garbutt Jr., who operates Glass Technologies Ltd., despite the new regulations government should consider that the measure may not have a significant impact on the commission of crimes the way it has on his business.
Errol Garbutt Jr., Windshield Technician
“Well the business of tinting, ih drop with the crime… How fu say it Isani? Gun noh kill people, people kill people. Tint noh kill people, people kill people. That’s all I could say. And the crime rate, if you really watch it, you got customers weh come in and we noh wah call no name, but people need fu hide their things eena dehn vehicle mein.”
Espat also highlighted the fact that prior to the passage of the new legislature there was no enforcement or regulation of tinting.
“There wasn’t much control over the tint for a very long time. I think maybe around 2008, 2007 or early 2008 they tried to introduce this legislation to tone down the darkness of the tint but they never followed through with it so it just kept going. Now there’s an S.I. that was actually signed that regulates the darkness of the tint that can be applied to vehicles. I think the S.I. came about because of the high prevalence of crime, all the murders that have been happening so it’s, I am not entirely sure, I am only assuming here that it is because of that. I think the police would feel safer being able to look inside the vehicle.”
Motorists have since complained that de-tinting their vehicles comes at an extra expense to them especially knowing that prior to their installations it wasn’t illegal to have your windows tinted. The new law comes into effect at the end of the month. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.
Drivers who do not comply with the new tinting law can expect to be fined.Email This Story