Shady situation

Tinted windows target of police effort

Craig police officers want to see through vehicles' windows and increase pedestrian safety, so they will soon be enforcing a state law that restricts heavily tinted windows.

"It's an issue of safety for our officers. Plus, if you've ever driven with tinted windows at night, it obscures your view," said Capt. Jerry DeLong of the Craig Police Department.

The Craig Police Department recently purchased a window tint meter to determine whether motorists are driving vehicles with illegally tinted windows. Front windows and the windshield must allow at least 70 percent of light transmittance.

For the next two weeks, the department is offering free testings from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the Moffat County Public Safety Center for motorists who want to determine whether their windows are overly tinted.

Colorado State Patrol Capt. Brett Williams said troopers have been enforcing the law since it was passed in 1995. Tickets for offenses are $58.80, but Williams said that's about equal to the price of altering windows back to a legal limit of tinting.

"It's compatible with the price you lost to get your windows replaced," he said.

Williams said it is illegal for car dealerships to tint windows darker than the state statue allows. Williams said that while working with the patrol in Denver, a few cars were eventually impounded after motorists refused to comply with the standards. Williams said offenses don't count as negative points against a driver's license.

Vehicles with severely tinted rear windows but nontinted front windows and windshield may not be legal. Highly tinted rear windows can contribute to lower visibility out the front and side windows, police said.

Opaque, nontransparent metallic or mirrored appearance windows also are illegal.

Williams said Colorado's statue is surprisingly more lenient than other states.

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