Dubai: Despite the regulations, it is no secret that many motorists have heavily tinted car windows, dangerously exceeding the permissible levels.
Car window tinting businesses offer dangerous levels of tinting, as much as 70 per cent.
As the mercury rises many motorists are rushing to get their car windows tinted. Traffic officials have urged motorists to abide by regulations to avoid fines.
“The legally permissible level of tinting is 30 per cent for the rear and side mirrors of a vehicle. Anyone going beyond that limit risks being fined. Also, tinting the windscreen of the vehicle is prohibited,” Mohammad Abdul Kareem Nimaat, Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)’s Vehicles Licensing department, said.
The regulation is set by the Ministry of Interior and is applicable to all seven emirates, he said.
Since it is summer, many people get their window tints done at this time, and it is essential for them to remember that the regulation is in place for their own safety, he said.
Nimaat said that the rule is applicable to all motorists, and declined to comment whether RTA issues special permission to motorists allowing them to tint their car windows beyond 30 per cent.
Window tints are not permitted for company-owned vehicles, as per the law.
During the vehicle inspection, prior to renewal of vehicle registration, window tints are checked for compliance, he added.
According to Dubai Police statistics, in 2011, 1,960 tickets were issued to car owners for violating tinting regulations, while 914 were issued in the first five months of 2012.
Car repair shops and companies record a sharp rise in the number of clients who tint their cars during summers. While privacy is one of the reasons why many people want to get their vehicle tinted, excessive heat leads many more to opt for it as the temperature inside the vehicle could not only get unbearable, it could also damage the belongings.
“The demand rises by roughly 30 per cent, there are many first-timers and also a large number of those who change the tints,” said Alex, who owns a garage in Al Rashidiya.
Listing the benefits of getting your car tinted, he says: “The temperature inside the car can get very uncomfortable and tinting provides protection from the heat, helps reduce energy consumption, makes air conditioning more effective.”
According to research, heat and ultra violet rays in a vehicle could trigger the release of chemicals that cause health hazards. Additionally, it could damage the vehicle interiors, reduce the efficacy of air conditioning and result in a higher energy consumption.
The cost could start from around Dh100 for relatively cheaper brands and Chinese makes and go up to Dh1,200 for the more superior ones. The efficacy of various categories also varies. A good one that is scratch-proof could last you two years or so whereas others would last only one season after which car owners are recommended to get it changed. Usually this is the tint on the rear glass, as these are fixed outside the glass that wear out faster.
Most of the customers are aware of the 30 per cent rule in place and shop owners said they do get clients who want to go for even 50 per cent. “Sometimes clients want a higher percentage, there are many who get permission from the RTA, but we do not really insist on seeing their documents,” said Shamsheed, who works with a car repair outlet on Shaikh Zayed Road.