Vehicle owners given two weeks to remove films

The police and Motor Vehicles' Department (MVD) are all set to crack the whip on vehicles which have sun control films of different shades on their windscreens and windows.

The order on enforcing the new set of rules regarding sun control films has been issued by the Director General of Police and the Transport Commissioner, said T.J. Thomas, the Ernakulam RTO. “The films are not legally permissible. Initially, drivers will be warned and asked to remove them. This will be followed by enforcement. Apart from cars, buses, mini-buses and all types of vehicles must comply with the rule,” he said.

Asked whether films that permit 70 per cent Visual Light Transmission (VLT) for the front and rear windscreens and 50 per cent VLT for side glasses can be used, Mr Thomas said that they were permitted under an earlier order.

In the meantime, the police drive to enforce the order is set to begin in two weeks. “Initially, motorists will be warned. The films have been removed from police vehicles, to comply with the recent Supreme Court order,” said Baby Vinod, the Assistant Commissioner of Edappally Traffic Police.

The MVD would soon direct dealers not to fix sun control films on cars sold by them. The minimal tinting on glasses that is done by car manufacturers is permissible. The agency has begun the removal of films from vehicles that are taken to RTO offices for registration.

Vehicles which ferry high-security individuals have been exempted.

The rule enforcement agencies intend to begin their crackdown since vehicles with thick sun films (even atop front windscreens) began to be used for different crimes, including smuggling. In Kochi, taxis and other vehicles that ferry children to school too have thick films on their glasses, making it tough to see the interiors.

“The government is expected to soon make available visual-transparency testing meters, to gauge the transparency level of vehicle glasses. Those who do not comply would have take off the film and bring back the vehicle, apart from remitting fines,” said an MVD official.

On an average, car accessory shops charge about Rs 3,000 for fixing films of good quality on MUVs and lesser amounts for cars. “The tinting done by manufactures generally affords a fair amount of ultra-violet protection. Though additional sun films increase the level of protection and also afford privacy for occupants, many vehicle owners opt for very heavy shades. This poses a security risk. Thick films also hamper the view of the driver, especially at turnings and during rain,” said the employee of a car accessory shop in the city.

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