Despite what your buddy with an inside connection at the local Police Department might have told you about cops not really caring about how dark the tinted windows are on a car, the truth is, it’s a vehicular issue that a lot of police officers feel very strongly about.
They can and will pull you over if they think, or suspect that you’re violating the state laws that rigidly control the application of window tints.
If a cop does pull you over because of your tinted windows, it isn’t personal, but it is because you’ve chosen to modify your car. The way that you and the police officer who’s probably going to write you a ticket view the tints that you’ve on your car’s windows is vastly different.
While you might think they add a little charisma and visual appeal to your dark and help to bring the temperature in the vehicle down while you’re driving, all the cop who is about to invite you to court for an afternoon see’s is a lot of potential danger for both of you.
And we’re going to tell you exactly what police officers see, and why they’re more likely to pull you over if you’ve tinted the windows of your car.
It’s A Safety Issue
The degree, or amount, of tint that you can use to darken the windows of your car, varies from state to state, and the laws that govern it were initially drafted to protect police officers. As a general rule, cops like to be able to see inside any vehicle that’s being driven on the road and like to make eye contact with drivers and passengers.
It’s an easy, quick, and involuntary way for them to make sure that the occupants of a car aren’t doing anything that they shouldn’t be doing, and aren’t breaking any noticeable laws. The darker the tints on the windows of a car are, the more suspicious a police officer will be of that vehicle, and the more likely it is that they’ll pull you over and approach you with one hand on their holster.
After all, if they can’t see inside your vehicle, they don’t know what to expect when they approach it and you, and any and every police officer will always err on the side of caution.
Safety Goes Both Ways
If your car’s tints are too dark, it can impair your ability to drive within the legally enforceable parameters of the road. While it’s true that tinted windows can, and do reduce sun glare and prevent you from being dazzled and blinded by the headlights of other cars while you’re driving at night, they also reduce your driving visibility.
If you’re driving when it’s dark and your windscreen has been darkened, even with your headlights on full beam, you’re not going to be able to see the road ahead of you as well as you could if your windows weren’t tinted.
And those tints on your side windows? They might prevent you from catching something in your side mirrors that you wouldn’t have missed if the tints you fitted hadn’t been as dark as they were.
Belts On And Phones Off
State laws governing the usage of mobile phones and seat belts (New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t require vehicles to have front seat belts) vary, but if a police officer has any reason to believe that you’re either using a cell phone in a way that might hinder your ability to control your vehicle properly or that you might not be wearing your seatbelt, then he or she will pull you over without even pausing for breath or running your plates.
And the one thing that will always make an officer suspect that you’re either on your phone when you shouldn’t be, or that you’re not wearing your seatbelt, is excessively tinted windows that prevent them from being able to see inside your vehicle.
How Can I Make Sure Cops Don’t Pull Me Over Because Of My Tinted Windows?
There are three guaranteed ways to stop a cop pulling you over and giving you a ticket because of your tinted windows. The first is to forget all about having them tinted, and just leave your car’s windows as they are.
The second is don’t fit the tints yourself, and the third and final way is inextricably linked to the second, and that’s if you really have to have the windows of your car tinted, make sure you have it done by a professional, fully licensed body shop or garage.
Any licensed fitter will be acutely aware of the law governing how dark the tints they fit can be, and will adhere to it without fail. And that means that the tints on your car will be fully legal, which in turn means that a cop can’t pull you over because of them, and even if they do, there’s absolutely nothing that they can do about them.