Banned: SC entirely prohibits use of films on car windscreens

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Peel it off! That’s what Supreme Court has ruled for those who use tinted films on their cars’ windscreens. Until now, tinted films of upto 70% transparency for front and rear windows and 50% transparency for side windows were allowed on cars, but henceforth, even such films will have to be removed. Cars equipped with tinted windshields and windows (not film) will remain out of the law’s ambit though, as the consumer is not responsible for them. It’s notable that some car manufacturers do deliver their cars with a slight tint on side windows. The shade, however, is well within the permissible limits in such cases.

“We prohibit the use of black films of any visual light transmission (VLT) percentage or any other material upon the safety glasses, windscreens (front and rear) and side glasses of all vehicles throughout the country” ruled the apex court.

Traffic police in various cities has launched a drive to enforce the SC ruling. Apart from ripping off the film on the windows, the fine for the first offence will be Rs 500 and second offence will be Rs 1,000. Currently the fine for the first offence is Rs 100, escalating to Rs 300 for a repetition. If the car owners resists the removal of the film, the car may even be impounded.

SC’s logic that tint films make the interior of a car less visible helps criminals escape the law might have some substance, but in a country like India where the temperature soars to as much a 52 degree Celsius in summers, a UV cancelling, heat deflecting coating does help the passengers to an extent. At 70% transparency, the cabin of a car is sufficiently visible. The real problem here is the manufacture, marketing and usage of substandard and non compliant films by unregistered makers. The police, as one would expect never acts against the manufacturers and suppliers of these films, and even the end user, in a bid to make their cars look cooler opts for them. In our opinion, clear films, which deflect heat and UV to keep the cabin relatively cooler, should be allowed. We earnestly believe that only the removal of such films would hardly go any distance in reduction of abductions and robberies, for criminals would still commit crimes if they have to. More than reducing crime, this ruling may eventually turn into another way for the traffic constables to fleece commuters.

Even VVIPS wuill have to adhere to the new ruling as there currently isn’t any exception made. However, an exception can later be made for the the used by Z and Z+ security covered people.

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