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#404270 - 04/07/11 09:21 AM Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles
Marty Offline
In larger communities where crime is a concern window tinting of vehicles is illegal. This is because the tinted windows provide cover for perpetrators of crimes, making them less visible as they make their escape.

This practice is being brought to the country of Belize. Cited as the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Tinted Windows) Regulations 2011, this law comes into effect on June 1, 2011. As per the Statutory Instrument (SI) signed by Hon. Melvin Hulse, Minster of Transportation; owners will have 30 days to remove tinting from their vehicles before they become liable to a charge.

There are exceptions, however as the SI states, "the Minister may specify, by notice in the Gazette, that a motor vehicle or a class of motor vehicle is a motor vehicle exempt from the provisions of this regulation". Private motor vehicles' windows may be allowed if it follows the guidelines outlined in the schedule.

By definition, tint is a treatment to achieve a variety of tinting effects and includes a plastic film that is fitted to a windshield, window or rear glass of a motor vehicle.

The SI states, "no person shall use, or cause or permit another person to use, a motor vehicle on a public road if its windscreen, rear glass or any of its windows is tinted or otherwise treated, in a way that is likely to impede sight, from outside the vehicle, of a person or thing inside the vehicle".

Individuals caught contravening this regulation commits an offence and is liable on a summary conviction of not less than $150.00 and not more than $500.00.

San Pedro Sun

#404283 - 04/07/11 10:23 AM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: Marty]
hazzyy Offline
I wonder where I can find the VLT and Power meter in San Pedro to tell if the tint is too dark???

#404735 - 04/12/11 09:46 AM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Regulations Banning Dark Tint coming Into Effect

If you're one of those people who life to roll under heavy black tint - beware because in two months you'll have to change things up….

There will be new regulations governing tints on vehicle windows, windshield ad rear glass - effective June 1st. According to the Ministry of Transport, all vehicle owners, dealers, importers and tint-shop operators are advised that as of June 1st, no vehicle should be driven or parked on a public road if it has any tint that does not fall within the following restrictions.

For windshield - not less than 50 percent visible light transmission and only non-reflective tint, not more than 4 inches from the top. For front windows - not less that 50 percent visible light transmission and reflective or non-reflective tint of any color.

And for rear windows and rear glass - not less that 20 percent visible light transmission and reflective or non-reflective tint of any color.

What does all that mean? Well, we'll take you to a tint shop tomorrow to illustrate..

Channel 7

#404900 - 04/13/11 10:08 AM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Lowdown On Tint

Last night we told you about the regulations on vehicle tint that go into effect on June first. The new regs are trying to make it so that criminals in particular can't conceal themselves or their arms inside dark vehicles.

A lot of technical lingo was used in the release sent out yesterday - well tonight we'll try and break it down for you… To understand the tint issue, first you'll have to understand what VLT is. It means visible light transmission - how much light the tint lets through.

Nigel Espat, Belize Auto Zone
"VLT- Visible Light Transmittance - it allows from the different rates - 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% - what it does is that's the amount of ultraviolet rays that it allows to penetrate through the vehicle. So it's not only a factor of being concealed in your vehicle, but it's also protection from the heat."

On this vehicle it's 5% - the most popular in Belize, and on this one, it's 20% - the lightest tint sold here at Auto zone where they've been tinting vehicles for 12 years.

Nigel Espat
"Of course the most popular is the 5% which is the darker tint, but if it's-"

Jules Vasquez
"This vehicle behind us is 5%?"

Nigel Espat
"This vehicle is 5 percent, yes; this is the darker tint."

The new regulations call for 50% on windshields and front windows. One problem though, owner Nigel Espat says he's never heard of it:

Nigel Espat "I've never seen a 50% VLT tint available on the market."

Jules Vasquez
"You're saying that you've been doing this for over 10 years now, and you've never encountered 50% VLT?"

Nigel Espat
"No, we've been in the business for about 12 years going on 13 years, and I've never encountered a 50%. It's not what only is available in Belize because I've attended the SEMA Auto-Show that takes place in Las Vegas every year, where all the tint manufacturers, globally, congregates. And I've never seen 50% VLT available."

But we found it on the internet - and Espat says it probably does exist, but he wonders is it climate appropriate?

Nigel Espat
"We live in a tropical climate where, ultimately, you are bound to tint your vehicle. It's just too hot to leave your vehicle out in a parking lot or on the side of the street for even 15 minutes, especially given the months that we're in right now. It gets extremely hot. The tint helps to protect you from that; by requiring 50% on the front, and then it's almost having nothing at all. It's almost saying don't tint the front."

Also, the parameters for the tint on the front will have to change - only four inches will be allowed, this van is about ten, this car is 8

Nigel Espat
"Because we are a tropical climate, we tend to have more sun than - say the United States or Canada or our northern neighbors. So we would tint may be say - about 8 inches will suffice to keep the sun out of your face while you're driving on the highway or the road. 4 inches is rather small."

He Also notes that reflective tint will be permitted - but at any percentage, he warns doesn't allow you to see inside.

Nigel Espat
"You can go about getting a 20% reflective tint, and it does the same thing. I believe the aside is to allow visibility into the vehicle, but a reflective tint acts as a mirror. So even though you might find a 20% reflective tint, what it does is it keeps visible out of the vehicle because it acts as a mirror."

Espat says he supports the regulations - but it needs fine tuning

Nigel Espat
"They might want to go back to it and just tinker with it a little bit more, because in my view and the experience that we have, trying to achieve what the ministry is trying to achieve - a 20% tint - it would suffice perfectly. Full vehicle, 20% tint, the visibility is very clear inside; the occupants get at least a small amount of protection from the ultraviolet rays, and the police are happy. It makes it clearer."

Jules Vasquez
"Okay now, but you aren't opposed to these regulations at all, because tint is tint; you don't really care about the grade. You will still make your sale."

Nigel Espat
"Well tint is tint, so at the end of the day, it costs the same to any customer that comes into the auto zone to tint with 5% - 20% - the tint is the same."

Channel 7

#407594 - 05/12/11 10:36 AM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Tint my ride; but new law may fine you for very dark windshield

Drivers across the country have a little over two weeks to remove dark tints from their vehicles. A statutory instrument will come into effect to regulate tinting, a measure taken to deter criminals from hiding behind the tint to conceal their identity. In the following story, News Five’s Isani Cayetano looks at the acceptable level of tints prescribed by the new regulations.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

On June first the Traffic Department will begin cracking down on vehicle owners whose windows and windshields do not meet the newly implemented standard of tinting. In the streets of Belize City two out of every five cars we counted have exceptionally dark tints, well outside of the accepted parameters. Nigel Espat, proprietor of Auto Zone, explains the shades of film used in tinting.

Nigel Espat, Proprietor, Auto Zone

Nigel Espat

“Tint you can buy it in three percent, five percent, ten percent, twenty percent, thirty-five percent and what the new S.I. is dictating for the two front door windows is fifty percent that is, for me, has proven very difficult to source because it’s not very common.”

A statutory instrument was recently passed to regulate tinting in light of the present crime situation plaguing the country. But while the public is expected to remove dark tints from their vehicles government officials are still driving around with relatively obscure windows. Prime Minister Barrow recently commented on the enforcement of the new law.

Dean Barrow

“I don’t believe in tinting. No but there can be no exceptions. Perhaps the police, I don’t know whether, or the military whether they might be able to make some kind of a case but regular politicians, regular GOB officials, regular municipal body officials absolutely not. The law must apply to them with equal force, equal rigor.”

Dean Barrow

Jose Sanchez

“Will this be implemented by police as well as Traffic [Department]?”

Dean Barrow

“Yes. That’s the whole idea that, remember we had talked earlier about trying to ensure that the police deal as well with quality of life offences. I am not sure that this is under that broad heading but the notion that the police should cast their net as widely as possible is very much one that we believe in and so they will be expected to help with the enforcement of the regulations too.”

According to Errol Garbutt Jr., who operates Glass Technologies Ltd., despite the new regulations government should consider that the measure may not have a significant impact on the commission of crimes the way it has on his business.

Errol Garbutt Jr., Windshield Technician

Errol Garbutt Jr.

“Well the business of tinting, ih drop with the crime… How fu say it Isani? Gun noh kill people, people kill people. Tint noh kill people, people kill people. That’s all I could say. And the crime rate, if you really watch it, you got customers weh come in and we noh wah call no name, but people need fu hide their things eena dehn vehicle mein.”

Espat also highlighted the fact that prior to the passage of the new legislature there was no enforcement or regulation of tinting.

Nigel Espat

“There wasn’t much control over the tint for a very long time. I think maybe around 2008, 2007 or early 2008 they tried to introduce this legislation to tone down the darkness of the tint but they never followed through with it so it just kept going. Now there’s an S.I. that was actually signed that regulates the darkness of the tint that can be applied to vehicles. I think the S.I. came about because of the high prevalence of crime, all the murders that have been happening so it’s, I am not entirely sure, I am only assuming here that it is because of that. I think the police would feel safer being able to look inside the vehicle.”

Motorists have since complained that de-tinting their vehicles comes at an extra expense to them especially knowing that prior to their installations it wasn’t illegal to have your windows tinted. The new law comes into effect at the end of the month. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Drivers who do not comply with the new tinting law can expect to be fined.

Channel 5

#407603 - 05/12/11 11:44 AM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: Marty]
PROBUS Offline
Is this all windows or just the windshield? It's been illegal to have a deeply tinted windshield in Europe for many decades, but AFAIK there is no rule about side or rear windows.

If someone has a vehicle with a tinted windshield (and especially if other windows are tinted) the vehicle may need reglazing, a very expensive and (certainly on the island) impracticable thing to do. I foresee considerable practical difficulties in doing this at all, never mind within the time limit.

#407604 - 05/12/11 11:47 AM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: Marty]
PROBUS Offline
Originally Posted By: Marty
By definition, tint is a treatment to achieve a variety of tinting effects and includes a plastic film that is fitted to a windshield, window or rear glass of a motor vehicle

This is not true. After-market tints may be applied in this manner, but in many cases the tint is in the glass itself and cannot be removed without reglazing.

#407607 - 05/12/11 11:58 AM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: PROBUS]
hazzyy Offline
True, but tinted glass is usually up the standards allowed by laws in most countries, i.e. USA, EU, etc... For example, most windshields even have a notation etched/stamped on the windshield (manu's AS-1 line) showing where tint should stop from the top of the windshield to a legally allowed limited. I'm not aware of any manufacturer that has stock fully completely tinted windshields from the factory. This is always an after market tinting, (with the exception of factory customs like limo's, security vehicles, etc...). The front driver side and passenger glass do come completely tinted from the factory in a lot of vehicles but again normally not past the legal limits. Normally anything that is darker than the law allows is applied after market tint. I'm sure this isn't a worldwide standard but most large worldwide manufacturer's usually follow these factory standards on public dealer vehicles.

You can get 100% metallic tint that is really reflective that doesn't allow you to see in to the vehicle very easy, doesn't look like a mirror, blocks UVA/UVB, but at the same time allows light through to meet standards.

#407696 - 05/13/11 12:21 PM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: Marty]
PROBUS Offline
"The law" means different things in different places. It seems that what passes as legal in the EU (and possibly also the US, I don't know) will not be acceptable in Belize.

#407937 - 05/16/11 04:22 PM Re: Window tinting no longer allowed on vehicles [Re: Marty]
Valuetint Offline
With 30 years in the Window Tinting Industry I believe the new law in my opinion, is good. In the States, it is unlawful to have any tint on the windshield and most states require at least 35% vlt on sides. 20% is very effective and is still dark enough for some protection. You are fortunate, they could have banned all window tint and made it illegal.

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