TINTED WINDOWS: HOW DARK IS TOO DARK?
If you ask the businesses that tint vehicles windows, or spend some time on message boards and forums, you will find that most say that 35% is a safe amount. The windshield cannot be tinted at all, the rear windows can be as dark as you wish and the driver’s and front passenger’s windows need to be light enough to be able to see the driver relatively clearly. That’s a pretty vague description from professionals and people “in the know”! The reason the people in the industry are vague about this issue is because the law is just as vague.
Below is an excerpt from the Highway traffic Act (HTA) with the description of what is too dark:
Equipment obstructing view
Signs, objects, etc.
73. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway,
(a) with any sign, poster or other non-transparent material or object placed on the windshield or on any window of such motor vehicle; or
(b) with any object placed in, hung on or attached to the motor vehicle,
in a manner that will obstruct the driver’s view of the highway or any intersecting highway. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 73 (1).
Colour coating obstructing view prohibited
(2) No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway where the surface of the windshield or of any window of the vehicle has been coated with any colour spray or other colour coating in such a manner as to obstruct the driver’s view of the highway or any intersecting highway. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 73 (2).
Colour coating obscuring interior
(3) No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle on which the surface of the windshield or of any window to the direct left or right of the driver’s seat has been coated with any coloured spray or other coloured or reflective material that substantially obscures the interior of the motor vehicle when viewed from outside the motor vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 73 (3).
Signs, etc., required by Act or regulations
(4) This section does not prevent the use of signs, markers or equipment required under this Act or the regulations. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 73 (4).
Windows to afford clear view
74. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway,
(a) unless the windshield and the windows on either side of the compartment containing the steering wheel are in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the front and side of the motor vehicle; and
(b) unless the rear window is in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the rear of the motor vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 74 (1).
I love the look of a dark tint, especially on a darker colour car. A few years ago, I had my car tinted. 15% in the back and 20% in the front – It was a VERY dark tint. I had asked the company if it was acceptable or if it was too dark. He said there are no “rules” or laws clearly stating how dark you can go. He assured me that this was okay, but that they would not be responsible if I received a ticket.
A couple of months later, I was pulled over and issued a ticket. I was naïve and attended court by myself (before I started working for a traffic ticket defence company, of course) and it was not a good experience. I would HIGHLY advise anyone with a similar incident to seek professional help as they know how to fight your case appropriately.
I then bought a new car and my brother now drives my old car. This time, I went with 35% in the front. I have had the car for about two years and have not had any problems. My brother, however, was pulled over while driving my old car and received a warning for the tint being too dark.
WHAT DOES 35% MEAN?
The companies who tint your windows judge how light or dark the tint is based on the amount of light it lets through. For example, 35% means that the particular tint lets 35% light through it. The higher the percentage, the more light it lets through, and the lighter the tint will be. There is no exact science to it and the tint can differ from place to place. Officers do not carry around window-tint-interpretation-devices to measure how dark your window tint is and it is left mostly up to personal interpretation. We have heard stories of some officer’s deciding that the tint is too dark if they cannot determine if it is a male or female driving the car or see clearly if the driver is wearing a seatbelt.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BE SAFE?
Since there is not an exact law to follow when getting your windows tinted, use your common sense. Remember that the person installing the tint is not responsible if you receive a ticket, and they may sell you on something can they feel is safe, but can still get you a ticket in the future. Even going with the 35% can cause some trouble and you may be at risk of being pulled over and ticketed. Variables such as the time of day, the weather and even what kind of mood the officer is in, can influence the chances that you may receive a ticket.
If you do end up with a ticket, the smartest thing to do is call or visit TRAFFIC TICKET SOLUTIONS and let our professional staff deal with trying to interpret the law(s) to your advantage and building a solid defence in order to have your ticket completely eliminated or reduced.
Sukh Nagra: Traffic Ticket Solutions