"The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job. But if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house. " -- Jeff Foxworthy.
Why do autoglass specialists and many automotive manufacturers continue to actively promote, install and market their specialty line of tinted auto glass knowing that they are considered illegal in many jurisdictions? The kicker here lies in the fact that the consumer is not informed of the possible legal ramifications of having the glass installed either on the assembly line or as an after market upgrade.
Many municipalities consider it illegal to have any type of tinted windshield installed on your motor vehicle. They have granted their police force the right to issue citations to those motorists who have them on their cars. The implication being that only criminals would have the audacity and the need to conceal their identities from the public. These same jurisdictions periodically enact a zero-hour crackdown on those vehicles having such tints which they consider to be safety concerns.
The typical consumer wanting to add value to his vehicle may elect to have the tinted glass installed on his car either initially at the factory as a custom feature or else at a neighborhood auto glass specialty shop offering a limited time special on the installation. Both installation packages are relatively expensive and sold with a limited warranty. There is usually no mention of the fact that such tints may be illegal.
Professional drivers realize that their vehicle's windshield , back window and side windows provide a total driving picture of the events happening around their vehicle.They know that it is essential that their view not be obstructed by anything that could jeopardize fellow drivers and their cargoes and lives.
Non professional drivers are also concerned with the many rules of the road which protect and regulate their driving habits. They may not be as totally picayune as the pros but they do obey the rules of the road. They also use their seatbelts, side mirros and turning signals to ensure their safety. These same drivers want to add the tint to their windshields to cut down on the glare which often times blinds them to possibly hazardous traffic situations.
This past summer I was interested in having a tinted windshield installed on my own vehicle. I telephoned a number of auto glass specialists and received a number of quotes. The range of the tint ranged from light to extremely smoky. At the six outlets I contacted none of the people I spoke with informed me of the possible illegality of my decision.
I then decided to visit a few specialty shops to see what they were offering in the way of removeable tints -- plastic sheets that you place on the windshield to cut down on the glare from the sun's rays and street reflection. A few of the sales staff I chatted with readily advised me that there could be potential legal problems if I chose a dark tint for my car. They advised me to not put tint on my car's windows.
The four automotive dealerships I visited offered me a test drive of their vehicles a number of which had all the windows "tinted for comfort". This came as a standard feature of the vehicle even though it did have air conditioning and cruise control. The salesman showed me the range of tint available for that particular model of vehicle.
I decided to forget about having any type of tint installed on my car . The idea that no one in the auto tint market would warn me of the illegality of my having the tint encouraged me to forget having any tint added to my vehicle's windows. The citations may provide financially strapped municipalities the added funding they need to continue operating in a cash strapped reality.