Hello Dear Readers,
My name is Benjamin Wanono, I’m the owner and installer of Diplomat Window Tinting. Vancouver has been my home town for 29 years. The city is growing and the climate is changing, I’m fighting to get legalization of front car window tinting in British Columbia to at least 70% visible light transmission. This fight is for the health and wellbeing of people of British Columbia. Though-out my 12 years of tinting I’ve came across people who developed skin cancer and other life-threatening diseases due to transmission of UV rays from front car window and now making a stand! I believe that the benefits associated with window tinting are greater compared to some of the points raised as to why it should be illegal. This research explores the world of window tinting and explains why front car window tinting should be legalized here in British Columbia.
Most of the people think that tinting windows is one of the best methods available to increase privacy. However, it is not the only benefit associated with window tinting. Tinting windows can deliver a variety of health benefits to the people as well. For example, the window tint is in a position to minimize the UV rays of sun coming into the vehicle. As a result, passengers will get the opportunity to stay away from the risk associated with skin cancer. It is also beneficial for the health of eyes.
Window tinting can be considered as the process of applying a film on windows, in order to reduce the amount of solar heat transmitted through the glass. The window film can also increase solar reflection and solar absorption of the glass.
Car window tinting is the application of window film on the car windows.
Standard Car window tinting policy
The tint darkness is measured as the visible light transmission percentage (VLT%). There is no Standard International policy on car window tinting. Laws on car window tinting vary from country to country as well as from province to province. Let’s look at Canada in particular.
In Canada, the law as to what is legally acceptable and unacceptable in regards to car window tinting varies from province to province. The legality is determined by the position of the windows and the percentage of how much light should penetrate into your car. Some provinces allow window tinting up to a certain degree while others ban window tinting outright.
The common window tinting policy that is acceptable in most provinces is tinting on the rear windows and the rear windshield. All provinces allow tinting on the rear windows and window-shield although the law on the percentage of light that must enter a car differ. Some provinces allow at least a 30% – 35% VLT, but no tint is accepted at all in other provinces.
However, tinting of the front windows and windshield has been an ongoing debate since some provinces do not allow this. Some allow tinting up to 70% VLT, others 50% VLT while others do not allow any tint at all. Provinces that allow tinting of the front windows and the windshield to 70% VLT include New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec. Manitoba province allows 50% VLT.
In Ontario for example, there is no specific percentage of the legally acceptable amount of light that should penetrate the glass. The rule is that a police officer should be able to make out the driver’s face. That is, you can tint the front windows and wind-shield as long as it’s not too dark to hide your face from a police officer. However, most drivers in Ontario put 70% VLT film, which is almost unnoticeable.
One such province where front car window tinting is not allowed is British Columbia.
According to Section 7.05 (8) of the Motor Vehicle Regulations Act;
“No person shall drive or operate on a highway a motorvehicle which has affixed to or placed on the windshield or a window any material that reduces the light transmitted through the windshield or window unless the material is affixed to or placed on
a) the windshield but not more than 75mm below the top of the windshield
b) side window that is behind the driver, or
c) the rear window if the motor vehicle is equipped with outside rear view mirrors on the left and right side of the motor vehicle.”
According to this law, tinting the front car windows and windshield is illegal in British Columbia. The fine for front car window tinting is 109 dollars plus an order to remove the tint immediately.
Many residents of British Columbia as well as visitors have over the years complained over this law seeking the legalization of front car window tinting up to 70% VLT. However, the law has remained intact despite their pleas.
So why does the law prohibit tinting of the front car windows?
The most common reasons given to show why front car window tinting should not be allowed are;
1. Tinted front windows are likely to cause accidents at night and during stormy nights. Their dark nature prohibits the driver from seeing clearly which might result into knocking down pedestrians, colliding with other cars or even driving off the road.
2. Tinted front windows disallows the glass from breaking into tiny pieces, a technique that is meant to protect the driver and his passengers from harm caused by large glass pieces when accidents occur.
3. Tinted front windows can promote criminal activities since police officers cannot see what’s happening inside the vehicle.
Looking at these points, they might look valid enough to make front window tinting illegal. However, a deeper look at them, you will realize that they are not reasons valid enough to prohibit front window tinting. Before I expound on their invalidity, lets first look at the major reasons why front car window tinting should be legalized.
Prevention of cancer
One of the major reasons why front car window tinting should be legalized is because of its health-related benefits.
As seen earlier, window tinting helps reduce the amount of solar heat penetrating the glass. In other words, window tinting blocks off harmful UV rays and prevents them from penetrating the glass into the car.
UV rays are known to cause skin cancer. When your skin is subjected to prolonged sun exposure it is put at risk of cancer. Drivers and their front passenger are put at cancer’s way when their front windows do not have any tint.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “prolonged human exposure to solar UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on the skin. A research by WHO shows that 66,000 deaths occur annually from various types of skin cancers.
According to a research done on drivers in the USA by the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 90% of all skin cancers are associated with the sun’s UV radiation and nearly 53% of skin cancers in the US occur on the left side of the drivers. This pattern shows that drivers are exposed to more ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the left through the driver’s window. These front windows were not tinted. The research publication also shows that clear auto glass only blocks 37% of UV rays. This amount is negligible and the drivers are still at risk of getting skin cancer. This is why the driver and his passenger are at risk of getting skin cancer even from the comfort of the vehicle.
A quality window film blocks up to 99% of UV rays A, B & C, therefore reducing the risk of skin cancer even when the driver is driving on a sunny day for a long period of time.
Another study by the Skin Cancer Foundation showed a 93% reduction in skin cancer deaths with the introduction of UV filtering films. This is why the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends window tinting in the fight against skin cancer.
Various studies have shown that a majority of car owners are subjected to high sun exposure during driving. Reports by doctors have indicated that sun damage on the left side of an adult is more common since this is the side exposed to the sun while driving.
All this can be prevented with the application of 70% VLT window films on the front windows of the car, which can barely reduce light penetration nor darken the auto glass.
Another health risk that front car window tinting will help prevent is skin allergies. Just as with cancer, sun exposure puts the skin at risk of sunburns, premature skin aging and sun allergies such as Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) and photoallergic eruption.
Sunburns are caused by short-term exposure to the sun. They are hot and painful. Even though, they are short term and do not cause as much damage, no one should be subjected to this especially when there are ways to prevent it. There are few but rare cases of severe sunburns where the affected is required to seek proper medical attention.
A skin allergy like Photoallergic eruption is triggered by the effect of the sun on a chemical applied on the skin. Such chemicals m
ight be found on sunscreens, cosmetics and antibiotic ointments. This means that sunscreens are not 100% safe. Applying sunscreen with no window tint on the car will cause a reaction on the skin resulting to a photoallergic reaction. Note that not all sunscreen contains these chemicals. Some are safe. However, it’s not always easy to tell which sunscreens are safe and which are not. This risk can be avoided by simply tinting the front car windows.
According to the World Health Organization, another effect of prolonged sun exposure is health effects on the eyes. Prolonged sun exposure causes inflammatory reaction of the eyes. This reaction is compared to a “sunburn of the very sensitive skin-like tissues of the eyeball and eyelids” which is quite a painful experience. A tinted windshield can help prevent this since it blocks out harmful UV radiation.
Cataracts are also a major effect of prolonged sun exposure and according to the World Health Organization they are the leading cause of blindness in the world; “12 to 15 million people worldwide become blind from cataracts annually, of which up to 20% may be caused or enhanced by sun exposure”. A research by WHO further states that “sun exposure appears to be a major risk factor for cataract development”. Motorists are exposed to these harmful UV rays and are at risk of getting cataracts. This is a risk that can be contained through the use of a tinted front windshield which will help block harmful UV rays.
Another dangerous effect of the sun on eyes is snow blindness. Snow blindness results to temporary loss of vision due to overexposure of the eye to the sun’s UV rays. It is a painful experience and if it occurs when one is driving it could result to an accident. This is one of the many health risks that could be prevented by the use of a tinted front windshield.
As seen above, a 70% VLT window auto film protects the driver from harsh light glares. At night, it’s common to come across motorists who fail to dim their lights when approaching another vehicle. The result is that these sharp lights blind the other driver which sometimes may result to the occurrence of an accident. With a tinted windshield, the light from the other vehicle is neutralized and even if the other driver fails to dim their lights, the driver in the tinted vehicle can still see properly. This will help reduce night accidents.
During the day, too much sunlight can cause poor vision due to the bright sunrays and the reflections outside. When poor vision occurs, a driver may lose sight of his surroundings resulting to an accident. A 70% VLT tinted windshield prevents this by cutting down the sun’s harsh glare. It can also cut down excessive light that could have penetrated into the car. It protects the driver’s eyes from the harsh sun rays thus keeping him focused at all times.
During accidents, shattered pieces of glass from the window could injure the driver and his passengers. However, with a tinted window, the film helps hold the tiny pieces of glass together thus making sure they do not reach the vehicle occupants.
With reduction in the amount of UV rays entering a car, the solar heat inside a car also reduces. then the solar heat inside the car is too much the driver has no option but to turn on the air conditioner which incurs extra costs. This cost can be avoided by having a car tinted. Air conditioners are not always safe. They cause allergic reactions especially to kids. This would be unsafe for a parent carrying kids. In addition to this, too much solar heat creates an uncomfortable environment. As much as adults can try to ignore the heat, the case is different when it comes to kids. All this can be prevented by tinting the front windows as well.
UV rays also cause the interiors of a car to wear out quick. With no tint, the front seats of the car are exposed to premature wear and tear which results to extra costs incurred in renovating them. These costs could be prevented through tinting of the front windows. In addition to this, the leather seats of your car will be protected from sunburns caused by harsh UV rays.
The reasons given to show why front window tinting should not be legalized do not hold any ground. No research has been done to prove that most night accidents are as a result of tinted front windows. The claim that the film on the front windshield prevents the glass from breaking into tiny pieces is not a valid reason. As we have seen, the film holds together the shattered pieces, whether small or big, preventing them from reaching and hurting the occupants of the vehicle.
In addition to this, claiming that tinted windows promote criminal activities since police officers cannot see vehicle occupants is a problem that has a solution. I am only advocating for window tinting of 70% VLT which has been proved to allow police officers to clearly see activities going on inside a vehicle. Moreover, requesting the driver to lower the mirrors or even open the car doors for inspection is an option that police officers have.
Front window tinting as you have seen is a solution to many problems. A Ultra-Nano-Ceramic film of 70% VLT that can cut heat by 80%, infrared heat by 90% and has an SPF (sun protection factor) of 1000 minutes would be very beneficial. The health risks it will help prevent are reasons enough to legalize front window tinting in British Columbia up to 70% VLT. These alone beat any cons that might be associated with tinting. These cons as we have seen can be solved through other ways, but the health risks that an un-tinted window poses can only be solved through window tinting.
My company Diplomat Window Tinting has been in the frontline in selling and installing top of the line quality Ultra-Nano-Ceramic window films to help solve these problems. Over the years I have interacted with motor vehicle owners from different provinces. Those from provinces where front car window tinting is legal have always come back to tell me how helpful the front window tints are. However, I’m always saddened by confessions of car owners from our Province British Columbia; how much they are affected by the sun through the un-tinted front windows and windshield. They wish that front window tinting could be legalized for all the benefits I’ve mentioned above.
If front window tinting is not legalized, I will have failed them and failed as a window films dealer since most of the health effects mentioned are caused through the front windows by the sun. By tinting only the rear windows I will only be achieving the decorative purpose of window films and solving only a fraction of the problem instead of the bigger picture which is protecting the driver too and the interiors of the car in general.