Cops say ignorance no excuse over illegal tint

| 20/08/2018 | 76 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS officer removing illegal tint

(CNS): Traffic police issued 187 tickets for illegal tint last month as part of their ongoing efforts to clamp down on rogue drivers. After 28 tickets were issued for this offence in one day last week, police said that many people say they are unaware of the law regarding tint on windows, but that is no excuse. In an effort to ensure people do know the law, however, they have released an image to help drivers understand what is allowed and what is not (see below).

“We have had many people claiming not to know what the regulations are for tinting of vehicles,” said Inspector Ian Yearwood of the Traffic and Roads Policing Unit. “While that is not an excuse that we will accept if you are found to be driving with illegal tint, we are taking this opportunity to remind the public of exactly what the rules are. I would encourage any member of the public who is in violation to make the necessary adjustments so as to avoid being ticketed or sent to court.”

Section 23 of the Traffic Regulations states that the front windscreen of a vehicle must allow at least 70% light transmission in either direction. The top of this windscreen is also permitted to have a strip of tinted glass of any degree of light transmission, not extending more than six inches down, the RCIPS said.

The front side windows can be tinted but must allow at least 35% light transmission in all circumstances. If the tint on the rear windscreen and rear side windows is fitted by the manufacturer as standard equipment, it must allow at least 15% light transmission. However, tint that is applied to the rear windscreen and rear side windows must allow at least 35% light transmission.

While tint violations remain common, other dangerous traffic offences are also keeping police busy. During July officers gave out 182 speeding tickets and 51 tickets to drivers using a mobile phone while behind the wheel. Forty DUI arrests were also made during July, compared to 24 in June, and 35 people were prosecuted for careless driving, as well as 14 for dangerous driving.

Cayman News Service

Picture supplied by the RCIPS. The 15% for the back windows only applies if the tint comes from the manufacturers. Otherwise the tint for the back windows and rear windscreen is 35%.

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Comments (76)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone deal/install 3M Crystalline nano-ceramic films on island? Very popular in USA – high TSER without the dark windows (if your goal is actually to block IR heat, damaging UV and glare from the sun). I’d do 50% TSER CR70 all around on our cars and our house windows, if it was avail – it’s almost clear with little impairment to night driving.

  2. Anonymous says:

    so if you drive by the parking lot of the police station in George town, look at all the vehicles parked in the staff area. almost all of them have an illegal tint. Need to make some money with tickets, start in your own backyard. two tier policing never works. follow the laws you so adamantly enforce

    • Anonymous says:

      The traffic police only work the new roundabout by there office. I guess it is easy and no other areas for traffic concern on the island.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the grand scheme of things is there a causative link between dark tint and criminality?

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely. It is against the law. People that break the law are criminals.

      • Anonymous says:

        This generalization is equivalent to me assuming you were up at 3 am being a disorderly drunkard, 3:08 am.

        • Jotnar says:

          What complete b/s. 308 am makes the perfectly correct statement that if you break the law you are a criminal. Nothing to debate in that. Your view that is equivalent to making assumptions about someone based on the time they post is just that – an assumption which may or may not be true. Or to put it another way, all people who break the law are criminals (not a generalisation). Not all people who are awake at 308 am are drunk and disorderly, though some may be.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:53am, why assume that 3:08am is in the Cayman time zone?

          You know what they say about the word ass-u-me?

          Get the drift on both points

    • Anonymous says:

      Law abiding, professionally trained Caymanian with 5% tint right around here:

      Only thing I’m hiding from is the sun.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The excessively dark tint on the car limits visibility at night time – this is why it’s illegal right? Because it’s dangerous for the driver and other people on the road. Safety first people.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just wear sunglasses…problem solved.

  6. i from yah says:

    So do you really need to have blacked out windows to carry around a K-9??? yall jokes some police cars are dark as the pits of hells and some RCIP officer personal vehicles I suggest we focus more on mental health issues and sexual predators! 2 topics that are swept under the rugs of Cayman.

  7. Concerned Driver says:

    What is the difference if the tint is applied by the manufacturer versus by someone else?
    The result is the car window is still dark and this is the hypocrisy I do not agree with.

    One person is allowed to drive around with 15% tint on their back screen and rear windows because they bought the car that way but another person who also has 15% or 20% is not because they installed it themselves?

    Just seems silly to me. Either you are allowing it or you are not. What is the ultimate objective?

    • Anonymous says:

      The difference is, factory tint cannot be removed. Hence why it is legal to tint the rear windows down to 15% for any car as that’s typically the amount a manufacturer would use.

      It only becomes illegal when the rear windows go lower than 15%, front windows go lower than 35% or the entire windshield is tinted no matter who applies it.

      I see no hypocrisy here.

      • Concerned driver says:

        You totally missed the point of my post and I think you misinterpreted what the article said.

        Article said 15% was ONLY allowed on rear windows and back glass if it was done by a manufacturer but only 35% os allowed if self-applied!

        Let’s try again….if the windows are still dark, irrespective of who installed it, what precisely is the law trying to prohibit?

        Saying it is illegal if it goes below 35% because it is self installed is clearly understood, my question was what was the objective behind the law if you still have some vehicles with darker windows (15%) because theirs was installed by the manufacturer?

        Hopefully you can see the hypocrisy of the law now.

  8. Don't Judge! says:

    The way people think:

    A young man + black complexion + drives fancy car + dark tinted windows = he is a criminal or someone trying to hide from police!

    • Anonymous says:

      Understood, but they typically target old, beat up Honda’s for dark tint. Unless there’s a road block of course.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Does Customs also ensure that cars imported don’t have the tint over the allowed %? They should not be cleared until the tint has been removed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Watch for the concurrent drop in teen pregnancies in 9 months time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The abundance of crap-ass window film tint jobs are all about hoot-rat personae, illicit activity anonymity, F*** wagons, and/or looking like a gangsta…it has nothing to do with TSER goals and has no sensitivity to the clear VLT regulations. Bust them all please (finally)…including those numnuts driving around with tinted light diffusers, and plate covers. It’s about time.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why is after-manufacturer tint on car windows here even available at all? All cars have air-conditioning, most have the rear & side-rear windows with factory tinted glass anyway, I’ve lived in Cayman 30 years and never had the need to go out and have the other vehicle windows tint applied. Just ban importation of car window tint material and refuse TBL to companies that continue to sell & fit it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    1 hour at any roundabout in Caymsn and RCIP will be able to spot and ticket a few dozen offenders. It’s not that hard.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yeah this is “great” and all. But the same RCIPS knows that there are a very select few who require dark tint on their vehicles for medical reasons yet between 2011 and 2018 have made zero effort to look out for those person’s interests. All this info about what is legal and not one mention of what to do in special circumstances. The instructions on the Licensing site are a joke to me. Last time I went to them I was told they could no longer approve my letters but they could disapprove them. Just common sense that out for me. You suddenly can’t follow dr orders but you can say no to them. Dr says yes, the dark tint is needed. Take it to the same department that I took it to for the previous 6 years. “Doh, we don’t do that anymore you are on your own teedee.” So yeah I’ll take my chances and I refuse to remove it unless the RCIPS would like a nice lawsuit on their hands. They nor any judge on this island are not doctors so who are they to tell me to go against my doctor’s orders?? And for all of unna who so glad to see this – most of unna too nosey for unna own good and always assume the worst! My car is tinted out dark to keep me safe while driving – go worry about ya own vehicles and stop trying to see into mine. Thanks! Oh another funny story, last time I got it done a well known officer at the time was having his personal vehicle done darker than mine and had the nerve to ask me to remove it then. Told him, you first homes. I will when you will – and left him right there.

    • Anonymous says:

      My eyes are extremely light/sun sensitive. I wear sunglasses. Why the H do I need to be special and have special tint??
      It actually sounds like you shouldn’t even be on the road during the day.
      Dr’s orders…. lol

      • Anonymous says:

        Who said anything about it being my eyes – IDIOT?! You sound like you should not be allowed to communicate with other human beings – common sense orders. Good thing cancer is a laughing matter to you – perhaps you should get what I have and see how EFFING funny it is then!

    • Anonymous says:

      if you have a condition where you cant be exposed to UV most car window filter that out but you can get a UV film – they can be clear. I call bullshit on needing tint – you might need UV filters though.

      • Anonymous says:

        You sure don’t sound like a Doctor to me, but meh – carry on. Your opinion is just as invalid as you are to me.

        • Anonymous says:

          tell me one medical condition that needs tint then….. blocking uv is all that is required….. all these just require uv blocking

          Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
          Cockayne Syndrome
          Bloom Syndrome
          Solar Urticaria
          Erythropoietic Protoporphyria
          Xeroderma Pigmentosum

          and skin cancers….. go on give me something that requires tint rather than uv blocking…..

          • Anonymous says:

            LOL! Because I owe YOU – anonymous dufus – an explanation? Remind me please – who exactly are you to me again? Ah, that’s ride – A NOBODY.

            • Anonymous says:

              You owe me nothing but making some reason up to get a darker window tint is just a lie. I know of no medical condition where a UV film would not work. I am not a Doctor but I am married to one and yes I have checked with him.

              People going to the doctor and asking to sign off reasons for window tint puts them in a bad position and risks their medical licence for nothing.

              The fact you can’t say the name of your condition just proves you cant come up with something that can’t be handled with a UV film. Say want you want you dis people for no reason.

              • Anonymous says:

                Yeah. OK – it’s made up cuz you and your pretend spouse said so. Ha! Great attempt at being funny there buddy. Do yourself a favour and go get a life and mind your own business while you are at it. When you can afford to pay my medical and pharmaceutical bills – then holla at me. Till then – yiu are still a NOBODY to me. Ie) your opinion does not matter.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Well you keep replying…. why not answer the question……. What makes you so ill you need tint rather than UV blocking?

                  See you can’t answer, because no condition exists.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    3:48pm you are not a doctor. So STFU. It is that simple. Your imaginary
                    spouse clearly isn’t one either if they don’t know about what other conditions might exist. LOL but carry on losers
                    Carry on.

                • Anonymous says:


                  Child, if you can’t take justifiable rebuttal of your opinions then stay off of public chat boards like CNS.

                  This is big people stuff.

                  Your skin is as thin as your reasoning.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    8:38pm – “funny” you should mention thin skin….You don’t sound like a “big” person to me if you cannot see past the tip of your nose.

                    There is nothing justifiable in any of the above responses but again you all know it all right – so by all means do carry on.

                    This car tint issue personally affects my health since being diagnosed by multiple doctors both in Cayman and at Baptist Hospital back in 2005. So yeah, if you don’t have the form of cancer I have you would not understand. I guess according to you and others like you – I should just lock myself in a dark room and wait to die so I don’t have to deal with a simple tint approval letter, nor people who insist on being able to see into my car to gawk at my appearance vs. me being protected behind some dark tint.

                    I have had BOTH types and the clear one is awesome but not fool proof – because in my experience the clear one still lets too much light in and the heat still gets through and it physically hurts. I don’t have 5% dark one on because I personally found it to be unsafe as visibility is limited when backing up etc.. Mine is a mere 20% on the two front ones and 30% on the windshield. The back is all factory 15%. This way I can still see out and drive safely.

                    You ever thought what if this person’s condition actually is real, and in fact so real that it causes deformaties that are so obvious and hard to look at that maybe she also doesn’t want people gawking at her while driving? Or simply that the sunlight truly does make this situation worse? Not only that but having chemo and then going out into the sunlight after – maybe just maybe the heat against her skin might make that process more unbearable? Of course you thought of all of that right? – cuz you know it all right?

                    Silly me for being born on an island, paradise in fact, which is hot and sunny year round and full of know it alls who don’t in fact know it all. But that is life – no further personal info will be shared on a public website, and again – if the tint situation doesn’t affect you personally – then please mind ya business.

                    A lot of you “big” people would do better in our community and inspire us “little” people if you did just that!! This is a big deal to me and my health personally so hence why I was on this post so frequently. But to be honest, I have no more time to waste on here with you “big” sensible know it all people. Me and my “little” thin skinned cancerous self actually have a life to live until this condition gets the best of me.

                    Toodles for now, and I pray neither of you have to go through what I have had to. Cancer is NOT a joke nor should the people who battle it be forced to justify their condition to random know it alls either.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then have those people with “medical needs” have some sort of government issued permit on their window or plate and if they are pulled over, they show the permit and off they go.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly it truly is that simple. There are those of us who do in fact have medical needs. Or even since we have the fancy new white plates – can they not be flagged with some sort of indication that this person has a special circumstance?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Surely a much more efficient use of police time would be for the Vehicle and Driving License people to refuse to pass any car that was outside of the law?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sure some do……….but you can’t do anything about it if people put it on after the inspection………..

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah because people are going to tint out the windows before getting it inspected.

  16. Anonymous says:

    And what about the police officers that have illegal tint on the windows of their personal cars? Are they also ignorant of the law?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Practically all cars come with some sort of light factory tint on their windows these days. So anyone who tries to go legal by putting on 35% and 15% will still get ticketed.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Muggings at gunpoint on SMB but this is headlines… smh.

    Also RCIP seem to have left out that pursuant to the Traffic Law, 2011 section 23(3)(a) the full front windscreen of a vehicle can be legally tinted 70% as long as it is not less than 70% light transmission in either direction – not including the 6inch strip.

  19. Fred the Piemaker says:

    The law on rear windows makes no sense. How come manufacturer installed can allow 35% transmission, but all other tint 15%? If we are talking about light transmission then 15% is 85% of light not transmitted ie lot darker than 35% transmission 65% blocked.

    CNS: I’ve talked to the police to clarify and reworded that sentence. Hopefully it makes sense now. Essentially, the back windows can be darker if they come with tint from the manufacturer.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why not also prosecute any tinting company applying tint over the legal limit?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok by that token, lets also arrest the bars and night club owners for allowing people to buy beer, get drunk and drunk drive.

      • Anonymous says:

        so not the same thing …. why not sell guns in cayman then only the people buying them would be breaking the law….. you logic is not logical

      • Anonymous says:

        Absolutely agree with that. Booze sellers are vultures preying on sick people. And a big one is mr. D

  21. Anonymous says:

    Lock them all up! Confiscate the vehicles!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Do the cops plan to properly calibrate their tint-reading guns? the prescribed 35% routinely reads as +/- 32% (i.e. less than 35), and the rcips are happy to write tickets when this happens.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Second to last paragraph makes no sense. Same as the Compass article so I assume its the official press release at fault.

    CNS: I’ve asked for clarification.

  24. Anonymous says:

    long overdue

    • Anonymous says:

      This has nothing to do with the person who has the “illegal” tint being ignorant. In fact they are not ignorant and know exactly what they are doing. This law has been in effect for years and the police do nothing about it. I see cars with tint you can’t even see the driver, police cars drive right by them and never stop them…..the checks that are done in Savannah, plenty of cars with dark tint go by and not one officer has ever stopped them….so don’t commend them, they are finally doing what they are paid to do which is long over do!!!

  25. George Towner says:

    I saw one van owned by a tinting company the other day, and you couldn’t see through the window one foot from your face!

    A tinting company’s van!

    Because they stop people, I hope they are dealing first with the tint sellers and suppliers.

  26. Richard Wadd says:

    About time … what about those vehicles with Covered / Obstructed license plates?

  27. Anonymous says:

    what is the fine or do the police just rip it off there and then?
    my tint guy went illegal even though i told him not too.

  28. Anonymous says:

    “In an effort to ensure people do know the law, however, they have released an image to help drivers understand what is allowed and what is not (see below).”

    Please note that the picture does not indicate probably the most important thing – the tint that should be on the windscreen!

    • Anonymous says:

      The very first arrow on the right hand side of the image shows the allowance for the windscreen.

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        No it doesnt. Says the top 6 inch strip – entirely silent on the rest of the windscreen (70% light transmission).

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are referring to the 35% wrong batman. The front windscreen should be 30% and is probably the most important piece of information that should be on there.

  29. Freddy says:

    I would like to know if Police are using a tint tester upon stopping vehciles on the road for tint violations. I have 35% and I am a legal law abiding citizen and had 35% applied to my 2 front glasses as I have nothing to hide and went to inspect the vehicle 2 weeks ago and was told that it was 15% on a meter applied to the glass. If every law abiding citizen that applies 35% tint is told upon vehicle inspection that tint is too dark then the Licensing authority should tell Public Don”t apply tint to vehicles as simple as that. Furthermore the applied tint will fade to a lower degree with each sunny day.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m guessing that your vehicle comes with some factory tint in the glass, so you need to be aware that its cumulative, I don’t know the exact science, and it might be simple maths, but if you have glass that has some already built in, then by applying the max on top will take you over.

  30. Darlene Ebanks says:

    Ignorance is no excuse for the Law , what were they saying , that they wanted to be able to see out , but didn’t want people to see in the car and didn’t know it was against the Law . Good try Sammy , remove that heavy tint and pay the fine .

  31. GR says:

    I’m curious how all these cars passed their annual inspections.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Great to see some action on this front. But again I notice no mention of anyone being ticketed for not having their plates affixed to their vehicle?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Wow, and pray tell how do we know what percentage it is? Do we all have to buy Tintometers? My car is manufacturer spec, so it better be compliant, if not will be suing the dealer.

  34. Andrew says:

    They allow at least a warning first. I got my car tinted and explained that I wanted it as dark as legally possible. They put 35% tint on but it already has a very light factory tint on which brings it to 30%. I didn’t know I know the law. Not everyone has the tint measure handy. My car isn’t unreasonably dark, you can see inside no problem. This is just a money grab.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Now get the tinted license plate covered card.

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