How to remove Tint From Back Windows?
It’s a new year, and for some tint shop owners across New York State, it’s bringing a lot of change. On November 28, 2016 Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law that states as of January 1, testing the VLT of window tint is now a mandatory part of a vehicle’s annual state inspection test. New York State law already required a 70-percent visible light transmission (VLT) or higher, one of the highest VLT requirements of any state. It wasn’t strictly enforced until now. The new inspection law caught some tint shop owners off-guard.
“They basically blind-sided us with this, ” explains Christian Zagami, owner and operator of WC Tint in Staten Island, N.Y. “They’ve tried to pass this for years, so we didn’t pay much attention. But come July-August, it started getting more attention. And the next thing we know, the bill was passed in what seemed like overnight.”
Prior to the new law’s enactment, police officers would use tint meters to test VLT at their discretion, but now, all auto inspection shops must be equipped with tint meters to test for compliance with the state’s tint law. If a vehicle’s tint registers below 70 percent, it won’t pass inspection.
“Right now, our business hasn’t been affected completely, ” says Zagami. “We have noticed—starting this past weekend—that a few people have come to us to have film removed after failing their inspection.”
But it’s not the required window tint inspection that has installers across the state worried—it’s the high VLT that’s required. “Personally speaking, I believe the current New York law is unreasonably severe and does not strike a proper balance between allowing the public to have the proven positive benefits of window tinting on their vehicles and still not creating an unsafe situation for police officers or other drivers and the public at large, ” says Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association (IWFA), emphasizing that this is his personal belief. He adds that the IWFA has worked for more than 25 years with law enforcement, inspection and public safety officials to educate them about the proper uses of reasonable levels of window tinting. Smith is also careful to note that the VLT law in New York State has not changed, just the measures in which it will be enforced. “The reality is that the IWFA, while working to change the situation from an unreasonable law to a more balanced one we can help support and enforce, will in no way interfere with a state enforcing its current laws, ” he says.
And Zagami agrees. “It’s tough because 35 percent [VLT] is legal in 40 other states, ” he explains. “We understand the reasoning behind the law; we’re a big advocate of civil servants and promoting their safety. We’ve always recommended our customers to stay light with tint. You’ll get the beauty of tint and all it has to offer. Police officers need to be able to see inside of a car, and 35 percent would allow that.” According to a report by CBS New York, the new inspection law serves to protect police officers in the event of a traffic stop. “In 2007, Det. Russel Timoshenko and his partner, Sgt. Herman Yan, were shot during a routine traffic stop. Officials said the excessive tint on the vehicle’s windows preventing them from being able to look inside. Timoshenko was killed. His partner was wounded, but survived, ” CBS stated.