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Ministry may place ban on excessive window tint

The interior ministry is considering banning excessive window tints and reflective paint on cars, officials have said.

Image Credit:Ravindranath/Gulf News
Abdul Mutalib of Shams Auto Accessories Co showing the different colours of film used to tint car windows on Salam Street in Abu Dhabi.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The interior ministry is considering banning excessive window tints and reflective paint on cars, officials have said.

Citing safety reasons the ministry has called on motorists using such materials to get them removed as soon as possible.

Those who fail to comply with the regulations if they come into force will face fines and penalties. However, officials have yet to announce a deadline for motorists to comply with the decision should it be approved.

Until now, those wanting excessive tints require special permission from the traffic department. But if the new proposal is approved the department will stop issuing such permission. Also, those who were earlier given permission will have to get their tints removed.

According to Federal Traffic Law No.21/1995, the permitted extent of tinting is 30 per cent. The law mandates a fine of Dh200 if tinting is above this limit.

A committee formed at the ministry is studying new regulations, controls and fines, which are to be announced shortly.

Lieutenant General Saif Abdullah Al Shafa'ar, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, said that the proposal was in line with the directives of Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Lieutenant General Al Sha'afar said that the proposed ban was aimed at protecting the lives of drivers and ensuring the safety of all road users across the country.

He urged motorists to comply with safety regulations and help prevent the danger of glare to other drivers.

"According to the regulations, drivers have to consult the relevant licensing authorities before using any such paint and stickers on their vehicles," said Colonel Gaith Al Za'abi, who heads the traffic department at the ministry.

Colonel Al Za'abi added that awareness campaigns explaining the new regulations would be organised if the proposal was approved.

Gulf News visited some shops that fit window tints to learn how the ban would affect their business if it was enforced.

"Gold and silver tints and paints are chosen by high-end customers. We do not do the tinting unless we see that they have permission from the traffic police," said Abdul Muthalib, an Iranian, who works at an auto accessories company on Salam Street.

"The cost of tinting varies depending on the quality of the material used and the vehicle. While the cost of ordinary tints range from Dh70 to Dh150, getting chrome tints can cost Dh450 up to Dh1,300", he added.

"We have done chrome tints for several cars. They are popular among youths. But since it is not the major chunk of our business, our shop would not be much affected by the new regulation. We charge about Dh150 to remove existing tints," said an Indian employed by a similar shop.

Your comments

70% tint involves so many things together. The driver litarally can not view anything properly in the dark areas
Surma Sarkar
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 18, 2009, 18:40

It's a law then we have to comply with UAE Goverment. If Tinted Glass is ban now, what about using a curtain on a car? As you know the extreme weather condition here in UAE is very tremendous, that's why one reason to cool you off inside your car is to tint you glass.Is there any suggestion other than 30%VLT from the authority?
Posted: August 18, 2009, 18:30

It is a very wise and preventive measure twoards the saftey and to save the lives by fatal accidents due to the reason tint and high and bright beam lights. the rules and law has to be impose and affact immediatly.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 18:14

Tinting 30 to 50% should be allowed in this country:as it is difficult to drive in the hot sunlight,as it is energy saver (keeps the car cool)(less work for AC),keeps staring / peeping toms at bay, etc..
Posted: August 18, 2009, 17:28

Mostly the shop people are cheating customers.They said if the car is registered under ladies name then they can do tint from 40% to 50% even the car is driven by a men not an issue. I don't know how far its true. As the other friends commented on using Halogen bulbs in car headlights should be banned. it really distrubs the other motorists.I totally agree Mr. Ali's comments becoz shop peoples are telling its only 40% tint paper, but how the customer knows whether is it 40% or anabove whatever they put customer will agree. First the shope people shoul be fined and banned. ThanksViji
Posted: August 18, 2009, 17:21

The authorities should clamp down on all shops providing tinting above 30%. That is the only way the law will be obeyed. If the tint is not provided, no one will be able to get a higher tint done. They will have no option available.Despite earlier laws, cars still get higher tinting done. Even the tint provides say that it is illegal to go beyond 30%, but due to 'popular' demand, they keep higher tints available. Once the authorities clamp down and fine them for keeping such tints, law will be obeyed.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 16:10

I think they should allow tinting. Lets be realistic, we are living in a country that is boiling for a major part of the year.Tinting should be allowed and possibly upto 50 percent in order to avoid dangerous situations.50 percent tint is not that dark and most definitely you can see the drivers etc. during the day and night to a great extent.
From A Reader
Posted: August 18, 2009, 15:56

I dont think they should ban the tint. To be honest, woman who are driving are at more risk without tint because they get followed often. It is scary and as soon as tint is applied the following is greatly reduced.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 15:45

I see cars on a daily basis driving around the city with the side-rolling tinted blinds fixed to the front windsheild. There should be a serious fine given to those drivers. What I also find is that people driving heavily tinted cars have the worst driving habits. I think it's because they can't be seen or identified, they don't feel shy of being rude to others on the road (especially pedestrians). Personally, I would welcome a total ban on anything above 10% or 20% because there are films out there that block out the heat without blocking visibility.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 18, 2009, 15:34

Yes, I agree that tinting of windows is not safe and it should be applicable to all mode of transports. Surprisingly, now a days I am seeing the RTA buses with full tinting having ADVERTISEMENT. By no means this is safe. As it is not visible fom outside the view inside. Thanks. Virat
Virat Shah
Posted: August 18, 2009, 15:34

Its a great move from the authority to reduce the excessive tint as it is reducing the visibility of driver .
Abraham V. Eappen
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 18, 2009, 15:28

As it is, dark tinted cars are double road hazards at night because they severely cut down on driver's visibility. To compensate, the drivers of these cars use high beams and fog lamps which blinds other drivers.And I thought all along that these kinds of tints were illegal! They should make the rules clear once and for all so that residents will know whether to follow it or not.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 14:38

I thought it was illegal to change your body paint before requesting it from the traffic dept. So how come everyone is doing this foil-a-car changes everyday. The authorities should clamp down on those companies who change the cars color without proper documentation instead of picking on the tint installers.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 14:20

Gulf News have to educate people that 30% means its 30%VLT or visible light transmitted. 70% VLT is nothing but clear.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 14:03

This step should have been taken long back. Many misused 30 % tint rule.
Saqeer . S.V
Posted: August 18, 2009, 13:55

According to me the fine for having tint more than 30% is to have the car impounded for 30 days and pay Dh500 fine. Once I had got this fine.
Abdul Rauf
Posted: August 18, 2009, 13:49

Please implement ASAP in order to reduce or eliminate road accident especially during night time.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 13:30

It's a good move no doubt about. Authorities should implement strictly and should not allow front and rear windscreens to be fully tinted.
Syed Ahmad
Posted: August 18, 2009, 13:18

I welcome this move by traffic authorities. There should be ban on tinting of vehicle windows, all major accidents happen because of tinted windows, how smart the driver think he is, but end up in big accident due to tinted windows, it should be completely banned.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 13:18

I agree with Senthil, for the ban of vehicles using halogen bulbs on their headlights. They are like kings on the road continuously flashing their headlights towards any vehicle in front of them just to make their way. The lights are too bright and distracts other drivers and might cause accident. I hope the authorities will look on to this matter too.
John Denver
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 18, 2009, 13:11

Good idea, Please impose the same thing to Dubai. Most of the cars driven by youngsters have an excessive percentage of tint which enable them to drive recklessly on the road.
Candy Baldovino
Posted: August 18, 2009, 13:09

It would be better if they ban the tints in the shops, the first place why the shops are tinting this much. There has been no ban and my past experience there is no shop banned for excessive tinting, they tint according to customers request. The real ban on the tints should start on the shop where they tint whatever a customer wants and that also without a permission.Thanks
Posted: August 18, 2009, 13:09

Good day! Tint windows would be fine to protect the people inside the car from heavy sunlight but not excessively tinted.
Ms Madette
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: August 18, 2009, 12:37

I think that ban on tint should not be applied.Because of hot weather tint is must.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 12:06

It is known that dark tinted vehicle windows are dangerous, which is why no manufacturer produces any vehicle with the windshield or front passenger seat windows tinted darkly. An even greater hazard is reflective window tinting having a "mirror effect" from which reflections can blind nearby drivers during bright, sunny conditions. While hindering the vision of vehicle occupants, especially at night, other drivers cannot maintain eye contact with the drivers of dark tinted vehicles nor can developing or dangerous traffic situations be seen through the dark cabin. Illegal activities such as the transport of weapons, contraband or dangerous wild animals cannot be seen from the outside of dark tinted vehicles, which could be deadly for Police and bystanders whenever a roadside check is conducted or such vehicles are involved in traffic accidents. And yes, drunk drivers can go unobserved sitting in their darkened cockpit, during the day or at night.Police should require owners to remove illegal tinting before the vehicle registration is renewed. Shopping mall parking lots are full with many dark tinted vehicles. Police should visit such locations, issue fines and impound vehicles. If legal exceptions to the vehicle tinting law are allowed, where is this policy published so the tinting exceptions are accessible to the entire population? That way, at least we'd all be driving blind and perhaps everyone would slow down.Until the most basic common sense road safety measures are enforced, no improvement will be made. When certain members of the population remain exempt from the law, the acts and actions of these people will be copied by others. Sending an SMS to "please pay your fine" just doesn't work.
Louie Tedesco
Posted: August 18, 2009, 11:53

They should also completely ban tinting/shading of the car lights (esp. rear). Some tint the lights to a shade matching body color, making it impossible for the car behind to see when they are using the brakes or indicators.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 11:07

I welcome this move by the concerned authority, at the same time the authorities also has to come up with a new rule on ban of using Halogen bulbs in car headlights. Recently there is increase in use of such bulbs especially who drive 4x4 and harass others by flashing continuously until their track is free. By doing this we could avoid more accidents.
Posted: August 18, 2009, 10:20

Greetings!I wonder if 30 per cent tint is referring to:a) Minimum 30% visible light transmission ORb) Minimum 70% visible light transmission.Thanks,G
Posted: August 18, 2009, 09:47