VOSA, working with a number of police forces, has begun a blitz on
drivers with illegally tinted windows.
The crackdown follows concerns over the
number of vehicles being driven with heavily
tinted windscreens and front side windows.
These restrict the driver’s vision, especially in
Both the police and VOSA are now stopping
vehicles with tinted windows and checking the
Visual Light Transmission (VLT) through
windscreens and side windows. If the light
getting through is less than is legally required,
the driver may be prohibited from using the
vehicle until the tint is removed. Motorists who
don’t rectify the problem may be prosecuted.
The legal limits for window tinting are a
● 70 per cent VLT for side windows
● 75 per cent VLT for windscreens on
vehicles first used after April 1985 and
70 per cent VLT for those first used prior
to that date.
VOSA Enforcement Examiners will normally
remove prohibitions of this nature at Goods
Vehicle Test Stations by prior arrangement
with the owner. This is a departure from the
normal clearance procedure of putting
vehicles through an MOT.
Any retailer displaying vehicles with
over-tinted windows for Sale
a number of offences. Neil Cumming,
Roadworthiness Project Manager for VOSA,
points out, ‘Section 77 of the Road Traffic
Act 1988, as amended, makes it an offence
for any person to supply or offer for Sale
motor vehicle in an unroadworthy condition.’
Neil went on to explain, ‘Section 76 makes it
an offence for any person to fit, or cause or
permit to be fitted, a vehicle part which
would, by reason of the fitting of that
part, constitute a contravention of any
construction and use requirements.’ So some
retailers and tinting companies could find
themselves with a prosecution on their hands.
The simplest solution
But why is tinting not included in the MOT
test? Alan Wilson, head of VOSA’s Testing
Standards Policy and Strategy branch advised,
‘Excessively tinted glass is seen as a marginal
issue currently affecting a small number ofvehicles in relation to the 24 million tested
annually. To impose the £300 to £500 cost of
equipment on each of the 18,000 garages
could be seen as disproportionate in road
safety benefit terms. The time taken to test all
cars would have to increase and so would the
MOT fee, to account for the additional time
and investment in specialist equipment.’ For
this reason, VOSA has chosen to target
problem vehicles at minimum inconvenience
to compliant road users.
Spread the message
If you know a tinting company who fits tints
to front windows, or a retailer that sells these
vehicles, pass the message on or they may find
themselves prosecuted. If one of these vehicles
comes in for test, let the driver know – you
may save someone’s life on a dark night.
WHATS YOUR OPINIONS ????
For information leaflets on tinted
windows for your customers or your
noticeboard, call our national number
on 0870 60 60 440