With change in season comes many necessary changes to your automobile: new tires for winter roads, new air filters come spring, brake checks after a long rainy season and, come summer, in addition to auto air conditioning service, many drivers are opting to have their windows fashionably re-tinted. Some, however, are going too far. There are legal limits on the extent to which a vehicle's windows can be darkened for the safety of drivers, passengers and law enforcement officials.
So just how dark is too dark?
Window tinting regulations vary from state to state, with restrictions encompassing how dark windows can be tinted and which windows can be darkened. But what is clear across the board is that some tint is too dark, and can result in a ticket.
"It does make it more difficult for us to see a distracted driving violation such as texting and driving or using a cell phone. When we approach a vehicle, we like to see what's going on inside that vehicle," Nevada Highway Patrol's Trooper Jeremie Elliott told Fox 5 KVVU in Las Vegas.
Dark tinting can be dangerous for those looking out of the vehicle, as well.
"I'm not a fan of dark film, and I hate not being able to see out of cars as clearly as possible," Frank Friedlander with Las Vegas Window Tinting told Fox.
Windows tinted too darkly also give police officers probable cause to pull you over, according to Florida Highway Patrolman Lt. Greg Bueno.
"You can't see the occupant. You can't see the occupant's hands...it leads to probable cause for us to stop a vehicle," Bueno told NBC2
To avoid a ticket and to be sure your windows are within your state's tinting regulations, check with your auto repair technician when you make an appointment to get your windows tinted. The International Widow Film Association's U.S. State Window Tinting Law Summary Chart has state-by-state guidelines for levels of tint darkness and which windows may be off limits for tinting in your state.
There are generally a variety of shades to choose from at a mechanics shop or body shop, and finding a level of tint within the legal limits should be an easy task. According to NBC2? shops can be fined for tinting a customer's windows past the legal limit.