Since the Government announced a ban on use of tinted glass windows in motor vehicles nearly two weeks ago, Traffic Police have detected nearly 450 vehicles which have such windows.
According to an official from the City Traffic Police special checkpoints have been placed in several parts of Colombo and the city limits to crack down on vehicles with tinted glass windows.
On May 9, the Defence Ministry had ordered a ban on tinted glass windows in vehicles, though many vehicle owners have questioned the move as the security situation in the country had improved dramatically since the war ended a year ago.
However the ban on tinted glass windows comes as a measure to prevent organized crime and terrorist-related activities SP Prishantha Jayakody told the Sunday Times.
“Now the war is over so there is no necessity to have tinted glass windows in vehicles. Earlier people were targeted by terrorists and criminals but now there is no reason to have such tinted glass windows. The police have seen a pattern where organized criminals used tinted glass window vehicles to carry out various criminal activities. We want to prevent this situation. So we have taken steps to crack down on tinted glass windows in vehicles,” he said.
Once a vehicle with tinted glass windows is stopped by the police the driver is asked to hand over his driving licence to the officer who will give a receipt for it. The motorist will be then given 14 days for the tint in the windows of his vehicle to be removed.
The motorist then has to come within 14 days to the respective traffic division of the police station and show the vehicle to one of the officers who would certify that the tint has been removed.
If the motorist fails to remove the tint on the windows of his vehicle within 14 days, he/she will be taken to court and fined a sum of Rs. 1000.
According to an official from the Police City Traffic, the law regarding the use of tinted glasses was first introduced in 1995 and then amended in 2003.
“Offending motorists are now charged under the 2003 gazette 1273/28. This law though introduced was never fully implemented. Any kind of tint in both side windows of a vehicle is not allowed. Tinting of the rear or hatch window would be allowed to some extent,” an official from the City Traffic Police said.
“The rear side windows there should have 70% transparency. To check the transparency, which is based on the amount of light that passes through the window, the police department has purchased suitable meters,” he said.