Screen_shot_2011-07-14_at_8.18.43_PMThe new tinting regulation introduced by the Dean Barrow administration was scheduled to come into effect on June 1st 2011. But in view of the fact that many Belizeans had not removed their dark tints by the time the law was suppose to come into effect, a thirty day extension period was given by Government. Those thirty days were up on June 30th and bright and early on July 1st the new tinting regulation was enforced by traffic wardens all across the country. But drivers were still given a break because if their vehicle did not have a 50% visibility mark at the front and 20% at the back, as the new law states, drivers were simply given a warning. To date we can say that drivers are still being given a break because despite the fact that they are caught breaking the law they are still given an opportunity to remove their tints before they are summoned to Court.

Carmelita Perez- Reporting

Howard Nicholson- Traffic Warden

“We noticed that a lot of people were not adhering to the law so we decided that we are going to do a special campaign which started from Monday. We have been going to several locations conducting checkpoints to make sure that everybody complies with the law.”

One such checkpoint was in operation this afternoon by Queen Victoria Avenue. When we set up our camera to find out how many heavily tinted vehicles would pass by in the space of approximately 30 minutes, to our surprise there were not many.

But when the traffic department decided to set up a checkpoint and took out their tinting machine a different tune played. Take a look at this green vehicle approaching the checkpoint. From the onset it is obvious that the tint is way too dark. The traffic warden talks to the driver, in this case a woman and asks her to take up her window. For the traffic warden the tint is too dark but just to make sure the driver is asked to park on the side and the grade of the tint is checked with the machine.

Howard Nicholson- Traffic Warden

“In regards to the tint I am going to give her a defect slip stating that she has ten days to remedy the situation with the tint.

Carmelita Perez- Reporter

“When it comes to the slip that you are going to give her does she have to come back to show that she has already removed the tint from her vehicle?”

Howard Nicholson- Traffic Warden

“She is supposed to come back within the ten days and show that she remedied it.”

Carmelita Perez- Reporter

“What happens if she does not present herself within the ten days?”

Howard Nicholson- Traffic Warden

“Well then it is going to go to a summons where they will have to appear in the Magistrates Court and the fine for that is between $150.00 to $500.00.”

But what about vehicles that come equipped with dark factory tinted windows, as is the case of Dodge Caravans? According to Traffic Warden Howard Nicholson there is noting the department can do about those cases.

Screen_shot_2011-07-14_at_8.18.53_PMHoward Nicholson- Traffic Warden

“There are a lot of vehicles especially these Dodge Caravans that the back windows came with a certain degree of darkness and some people might say that we are not doing anything but those are vehicles that came here with the glasses that way. This is the actual glass it is not a piece of plastic tint that was placed there. I guess that is some of the problems that the law did not think about and they need to address that because I cannot take off the person’s glass and make them go away without it. We do an inspection on the vehicle and make sure that if it is a factory glass they just go like that I cannot do anything about that.”

While we were at the checkpoint approximately 7 drivers received a defect slip. But as the days go by more and more drivers are getting the message that heavy tinted vehicles are a thing of the past.

Howard Nicholson- Traffic Warden

“The majority of them are. Unfortunately there are some stubborn people that I have given some warning and they don’t take it too good. I would say at least 80% of people or more are complying with the law but you have some people that I don’t know what the problem is they just don’t want to do it so we have to take the next step and take them to court.”

Since Monday the department has issued approximately 90 defect slips. It’s left to be seen how many of those drivers will abide by the law or simply be taken to court.

Any out of district driver who is given a defect slip can visit the Transport Department in their district within the 10 day period to certify and confirm that the tint from their vehicle has been removed. The department will then send a fax to the Orange Walk Transport Department informing them that the driver of the vehicle has abided by the law.

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