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  1. #1
    Retmilleo909 is offline Banned
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    Highway traffic related questions.

    This is a 3 part question and I would appreciate any and all answers from you dedicated Cops who work traffic.
    In driving around my area I've noticed a lot of vehicles with ultra dark tinted windows, where it's almost impossibe to see the driver and occupants inside. IMO, I wouldn't approach such a vehicle until the occupants were ordered out. What's the law on tinted windows in your area? I thought we had a law pertaining to this in my state but apparently it's not being enforced.
    Also, what about tag frames around the rear license plates that cover all but the large letters and numerals, including the name of the state. Are their laws pertaining to this?
    Now here's my pet peeve....Blue, white, greenish white, Etc. of BLINDING headlights. It seems that a lot of drivers, especially teenagers are now throwing away the original bulbs the vehicle came with and replacing them with these new laser beam ones, that will almost run an oncoming vehicle off the road,especially when it's raining or foggy. Apparently their are no laws pertaining to this as you can buy these things at every auto supply store, Walmart, Etc.
    When you approach a vehicle and they refuse to dim their lights do you ever turn around and run them down, then chew their A$$ out?

  2. #2
    Five-0's Avatar
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    We have tint laws in AL. When I get back I will find them for you and post. You have to have a tint meter it enforce the statutes in my state though. I requested that our agency order a few, but it appears that request fell on deaf ears.

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  3. #3
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    ryan36002 is offline Senior Officer
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    From Oregon Revised Statutes: (legal babble omitted)

    815.221 Tinting; ...
    (2) Tinting material may be applied to the side and rear windows of a motor vehicle if: (a) The tinting material has a light transmittance of 50 percent or more; (b) The tinting material has a light reflectance of 13 percent or less; and (c) The total light transmittance through the window with the tinting material applied is 35 percent or more.

    Testing equipment varies from agency to agency. Many have electronic light-meters. Some have detection cards you hold under the glass. Aftermarket applications are required to carry a tint certificate. This is generally hard to enforce as far as you can't stop the vehicle without knowledge that a violation is or has occurred. I can't stop a car just because I think the tint is in violation.

    816.050 Headlights; rules.
    (3) Headlights shall show a white light described in Standard Number 108 of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

    803.550 Illegal alteration or display of plates; penalty.
    2) A registration plate is illegally altered for purposes of this section if the plate has been altered, modified, covered or obscured in any manner including, but not limited to, the following:
    (a) Any change of the color, configuration, numbers, letters or material of the plate. (b) Any material or covering, other than a frame or plate holder, placed on, over or in front of the plate that alters the appearance of the plate. (c) Any frame or plate holder that obscures the numbers, letters or registration stickers, so as to render them unreadable.
    Last edited by ryan36002; 04-13-08 at 03:38 PM. Reason: typo
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  4. #4
    Retmilleo909 is offline Banned
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    Thanks gentlemen, I appreciate the answers. Now, what about my last question, have you ever turned around and chased a car when its driver refused to dim its lights, then after catching him/her chew their A$$ out and give them a verbal warning?
    Another thing that pisses me off is drivers not turning their headlights on when it's raining, even during a heavy downpour and those that don't turn them on until it's full dark. I almost had a head on the other evening well after sundown, while turning off the main highway onto a secondary road when this car came speeding down the opposite lane out of nowhere with his/her lights off. This has happened before and a lot of drivers don't turn their lights on til it's almost full dark.

  5. #5
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    Now days it is best not give anyone an a$$ chewing. I either cite or I don't. Usually the person I have stopped decides that matter for me by their attitude. This would very much hold true for a failure to dim lights. However, lights not on or failure to dim are good indications of an impaired driver. Sometimes I miss night shift. It is so easy to get into things like DUIs.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

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  6. #6
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    Failure to dim is great stop to get impaired drivers.

    Recently I got on that kick and got minor in possession. Charged them with the possession and warned for the dim. The next night I stopped the same car for the same thing and wrote them for it.
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  7. #7
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Each state has its own laws on window tint. In Virginia, in brief, the maximum light transmittance is 50% for the front side windows, and 35% for the rear side windows. The windshield may not be tinted more than the slight tint the factory usually puts on, except for a strip at the top. See http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Safety.shtm for more info.

    Tag frames: in Virginia, you can't have tag frame that obscures either the state or expiration date, or the actual tag. This includes colored plate covers. Some cops stop & write for it (I did...), some use it as a pretext (did that too), and some just don't know about it. (See 46.2-716)

    Headlights and failure to dim: Lights must be of an approved type; some of the bright aftermarket lights are not. They also should be aimed properly so as not to blind oncoming drivers; this is where people often screw up. Annual safety inspections should catch it... in theory. And I've made plenty of stops for failure to dim... Once in a while, I'm wrong. In that case -- I send the driver on their way once we make certain that they didn't fail to dim, just like I would if their tags displayed an expired date -- but they had renewed it and just didn't put the new stickers on yet.

    Some of your other complaints are secondary violations, meaning we can't stop someone for that, but can cite it if we stop them for something else, or have quirks that many civilians are unaware of. (Like driving without headlights when wipers are on full, not intermittent)
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  8. #8
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    deputysykes is offline Corporal
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    In Illinois there is a law against any tint on the front side windows and anything greater than 6" down from the top of the windshield.

    Headlights may be white, amber, or HED (high something diode). They must be dimmed within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle and 300 feet as approaching another vehicle from the rear.

    Plate frames and covers are also illegal. No object may obstruct any digits on a registration plate (even clear covers).

    As to the enforcement question: It's subjective....it depends on the situation. If while on patrol you stopped every violation you saw, you'd never turn the red lights off.
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  9. #9
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    OffDuty is offline The Shotgun is Family.
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    On the tint- gotta be no less than 30% in IN.

    On the ass chewing:
    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    Now days it is best not give anyone an a$$ chewing. I either cite or I don't. Usually the person I have stopped decides that matter for me by their attitude.
    I agree completely. Only time I chew ass in place of citing is when I am directing traffic (crashes etc) and can't leave the post to admonish driver for DWHUA
    There are only two kinds of real justice left: street and poetic...


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