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The 411 on after market window tinting
Every now and then, I look at my car and think about how cool it would be to darken the tint on my windows – to protect my interior from the hot sun, when it is out, as well as to avoid criminal-types from peeping inside, as well as for aesthetics. But then, I think to myself that during the day, driving would be fine. But at night, darker windows increase the danger level because those folks who insist on wearing black at night would be even harder to see. While I continue to ponder the pros and cons of after market window tinting, I asked Lt. John Hohmann of the Scotts Valley Police Department for his insights. Here's what he said: “My pet peeve,” he said. “The bottom line is that a film shall not be applied to any windows that are to the side or forward of the driver. This section came right out of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FVMSS 205) which are stringent standards relating to the manufacturing of all vehicles with respect to equipment requirements. Windows, on a new vehicle made by the manufacturer, have no film and according to medical authorities eliminate virtually all of the sun’s harmful rays. The simple truth is that after market window tint supplies no further protection. “There are at least three compelling reasons why after market tinting is prohibited: 1. Tinted windows dangerously reduce a driver’s ability to see after dark. 2. Tinted windows make it difficult, if not impossible, for a driver wearing sunglasses to see adequately even during daylight hours. 3. Tinted windows can increase the possibility of accidents by eliminating eye contact between drivers. “There is an exception to the law for those persons who need additional protection from the sun; however, the exception provides for temporary screening or louvers and does not permit the application of after market tinting material.” Read up on California's window tinting law online at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d12/vc26708.htm. Bicycle Observation Survey time The Community Traffic Safety Coalition is gearing up for its annual Bicycle Observation Survey, which will take place between May 14 and June 6. If you see someone sitting at a corner, keeping an eagle eye out for the ways cyclists behave on streets and sidewalks, as well as how they interact with other road users, chances are they are a survey taker. If you would like to volunteer to help complete the survey, check out http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E094EAEA629AA8-bicycle2. View last year's survey results at http://www.sctrafficsafety.org/pdf_files/2012%20Bicycle%20Survey%20Report.pdf.
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