Tinted car windows could cost drivers

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/05/28/tinted-car-windows-could-cost-drivers

The only time Greg Van Dalen has been pulled over in his Corvette was the day he paid for it.

Van Dalen, of Rockland, trekked to Connecticut in January to pick up his car.

“I bought it modified,” said Van Dalen.

He was stopped by police in New York State about three hours later.

“The windows were too dark, (the officer) couldn’t see inside, he couldn’t see who was driving. The tail lights were tinted, they were way too dark,” he said.

There’s more.

“It didn’t really have a muffler, it was way too loud. I had no licence plate on the front,” he said.

“So all that — what you consider minor infractions, but it’s what they look for.”

Van Dalen wasn’t ticketed, but the experience was enlightening.

“I don’t need the hassle,” he said. Van Dalen made changes upon returning home. “It’s still tinted, but it’s a little more normal. The mufflers are stock, so it’s not as loud.”

Van Dalen has come a long way.

For 10 years, he drove a Mustang.

“It was loud, but I liked it,” he said. “It was just awesome, which is what car guys are into, right?”

Regardless of the make or model, cops will be targeting drivers with modified mufflers and tinted windows, said Ottawa Police Sgt. Mark Gatien.

In Ontario, “if police cannot give a detailed description of the occupants of the driver’s compartment, then the tint is too dark,” Gatien said.

On top of visibility concerns, officer safety is paramount.

“They could have who-knows-what behind the window and all they have to do is roll down the window and we’re done,” he said.

While tinting the rear windows is OK, Gatien said he’s concerned drivers are going overboard.

“The darker the tint, the less you can see at night time out those windows,” he said.

“So you have to rely on your mirrors.”

In addition, cops will be looking for motorists with obstructed plates.

“They’re technically not allowed to have anything covering their plate,” Gatien said.

OFFENCE: Covered plates

FINE: $110

“No number other than that upon the number plate furnished by the ministry shall be exposed on any part of a motor vehicle or trailer in such a position or manner as to confuse the identity of the number plate.”

Keep it clean

“Every number plate shall be kept free from dirt and obstruction and shall be affixed so that the entire number plate, including the numbers, is plainly visible at all times, and the view of the number plate shall not be obscured or obstructed by spare tires, bumper bars, any part of the vehicle, any attachments to the vehicle or the load carried.”

No hiding

“The number plates shall not be obstructed by any device that prevents the entire number plates including the numbers from being accurately

photographed using a photo-radar system.”

— Source: Ottawa Police

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