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Drivers offered tinted window amnesty
MOTORISTS with dangerous tinted windows on their vehicles have been given a month to get them changed.
Police are holding a series of roadshows in the Thames Valley and warning drivers that after a month-long amnesty ends, ignorance of the law will not be an excuse.
Earlier this year, Djinn Choudry, 30, from Wood Farm, Oxford, was given a £60 fine and three points on his licence by police for having windows that were too dark, despite being given a two-week exemption by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
To be legal, side windows must let in 70 per cent of light and windscreens 75 per cent, but most tinted windows let in far less.
Police said drivers with tinted windows who attended their roadshows and got the light levels measured would be given a brief amnesty to remove the tint.
Pc Ian Leyland, a road safety officer, said: “There seems to be an increasing trend by some motorists to fit tinted film or glass to the windows of their vehicles.
“Nearly all manufacturers have a small amount of tinting as standard on vehicle glass, but any extra tinting to the two front side windows or windscreen will, in most circumstances, make their vehicles illegal.”
Tinted windows can affect the driver’s ability to see out of the vehicle, especially in poor light or at night, he said.
Pc Leyland added: “Because it’s not part of the MoT test and, due to various mistruths and lack of information, the first time a motorist could find that their tinted windows are a problem is when they’re stopped by the police.
“In some of the more severe cases, and where the tinting has contributed towards a collision, they can expect a court appearance.”
Police will be at Sainsbury’s supermarket, in Heyford Hill, Oxford, between 10am and 3pm on Thursday, September 24, and at Tesco, in Banbury, the following day.
Motorists with illegal window tinting can sign a written agreement promising to remove the tint.
When the roadshows finish at the beginning of October, the amnesty will also end.
Music producer Mr Choudry was pulled over as part of a roadside check operation run by the police and Vosa officials, who found his car’s side windows only let in 26.4 per cent of available light, much less than the legal level of 70 per cent. He was told he had two weeks to get them changed but was stopped by other police later the same day and fined.