Vehicles will soon offer little shelter - from the summer sun or for any kind of clandestine activity - with the traffic police ready to enforce from Thursday the Supreme Court order banning the use of tinted glasses on vehicle windshields and windows.
The police will initially advise people that it is against the rules and ask them to remove the tinted glass film from their vehicles. "After two days, we will fine violators ," said a senior police officer. "We will follow the order of the Supreme Court and remove tinted film on the spot."
"The fine will be. 100 for the first offence and. 300 for subsequent violations," he said.
Using black film is a violation under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The law says that windshields must have at least 70% transparency and windows a minimum of 50% transparency.
Tinted glasses that come as part of the vehicle manufacturing design are exempt from the rule.
The apex court, acting on a public interest litigation, had on May 27 directed all states to implement the rule from May 4. The Delhi and Bangalore police are already implementing the rule and fining violators. The Delhi police booked 4,915 motorists for the offence on May 4 and 4,199 on May 5.
Petitioner Avishek Goenka argued that darkened glasses "give immunity to violators" and are "used as a tool of criminality, considerably increasing criminal activities". He also stated that drivers of cars with tinted glasses had lower visibility and are 18- 35% more likely to be involved in accidents.
The Chennai police have started practising the rule themselves. "We received orders to remove tinted film from our vehicles by Thursday evening," a police officer from Mambalam said.
The court order exempts VVIPs from the rule, provided that the state government lists out persons who need tinted vehicle glasses for reasons of security, after a committee comprising the home secretary and director-general of police examines each case.
Chennai is facing the hottest part of the year and the order has not gone down well with motorists. "Summers are getting hotter. Without tinted glasses, cars will be like ovens , especially when they are stationary in the sun," said Vishwas Gowrinathan, who lives in T Nagar. "Chennai is a safe city. I don't know how much difference this rule is going to make."
The rule may not be effective as the fine for is relatively small, motorists say. "Tinted glasses cost up to 5,000, but they offer resistance to heat and good visibility, so motorists may not mind paying the fine," said a T Nagar dealer.
Source : Cops set to enforce no-tinted glass rule in Chennai from today