With the Supreme Court banning the use of dark films on windshield and windows of cars, the Chennai traffic police have launched a campaign to educate vehicle owners against the use of such films and also a crackdown on vehicles that continued to use it.
According to a senior police official, criminals often used dark films on the windows of vehicles to evade police interception. Crimes such as dacoity, rape, murder and even terrorist acts were committed in or with the aid of vehicles that had black films stuck on the front, rear and side windows of the vehicles.
Therefore, the department started implementing the rule with effect from May 4.
“We are creating awareness and simultaneously cracking down on use of dark films on the glasses of vehicles. We are strictly following the court's order,” said Sanjay Arora, Additional Commissioner of police (Traffic).
A senior police officer said that though use of black film was banned, people could use tinted glasses in the car. “But, there were certain norms for that too. The Visual Light Transmission (VLT) should be 70 per cent in the front and rear screens and 50 per cent on the side windows respectively. Most of the time we are not able to see what happens inside the car if the window panes are very dark,” said the police officer.
Apart from aiding in crime, black films can also cause accidents. “Tinted or normal panes have better visibility compared to those with black film on them. This increases the risk of accidents, particularly when it rains and during nights” said a senior police officer.
Car users too seem to be fine with the order except for the manner in which the police removed the film. “Each one would have spent over Rs.1,000 on the dark films. But, if it is peeled off in a rash manner, it will leave marks on the pane making the car look ugly,” said N. Muralidharan, a resident of Anna Nagar.
The Motor Vehicles Act Vehicles prescribes a fine of Rs.100 on vehicles using dark films on their windows. Police officers feel that though the fine is a very nominal, the cost of the film is about 10 times more. “Vehicles users will have to desist from using dark films as we will not only impose fine but also remove it,” the official said.