New York – Let There Be Light: Cuomo Signs Bill Banning Darkened Car Windows

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    New York – Vehicle inspections in New York State are about to become even more comprehensive with the passage of a new bill signed into law by Governor Cuomo that will require window tint to be measured as part of the annual safety check.

    Senator John A. DeFrancisco of Syracuse sponsored Senate bill S6034-A which requires inspection stations to fail any car with a window tint of greater than 30 percent.

    Vehicle owners would be required to remove or repair the window tint in order to pass their inspections.

    DeFrancisco said that the bill, which was passed the Senate by a vote of 60 to 2 and was signed by Cuomo on Monday, was intended to protect everyone on the state’s roads.

    “Dark car windows inhibit drivers from making necessary eye contact with pedestrians and other drivers,” said DeFrancisco. “In addition they can place law enforcement officers in jeopardy when making traffic stops because they cannot see what activity is occurring inside the vehicle.”

    Because many Empire State residents are not aware that their window tint exceeds levels permitted by the state, making window tint measurement part of the annual inspection process is a simple way of ensuring compliance with the law.

    “We need to start taking a proactive approach to resolving this problem,” said DeFrancisco.

    According to New York Post reports, the governor vetoed a similar bill in 2012, saying it placed unfair demands on inspection stations which would have to purchase special meters to perform the window tint tests.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio called on Cuomo to pass the window tint bill at a press conference last week, charging that tinted windows gave criminals an opportunity to hide from police.

    “This bill will end that reality,” said de Blasio. “It will make sure that these tinted windows are addressed at the most important point each year where we can solve this problem: during the annual inspection.”

    Sergeant Herman Yan, who was shot after pulling over a stolen BMW with tinted windows in 2007, attended the press conference along with the mother of his partner, Russell Timoshenko.

    While Yan’s life was saved by his bulletproof vest, Timoshenko, an NYPD cadet, was killed after being shot twice during the traffic stop in Brooklyn.

    “We pulled over the car for a traffic violation and it happened at 2 o’clock in the morning,” said Yan. “As we … approached the car we really couldn’t see how many occupants were actually inside the car. So this legislation would help that, so it would give us a sense of how many people were inside the car.”

    The window tint measurement will be one of several inspection components that are already in place affecting auto glass.

    All windows must be made of approved safety glass or rigid plastic and any windshield cracks must be less than 11 inches if they are within the area that is cleared by a vehicle’s windshield wipers.

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