How Automotive Film Laws are Changing

October 2nd, 2015 by Casey Flores
Lynwood Butner spoke about what's going on on the legal front with automotive window film.

Lynwood Butner spoke about what’s going on on the legal front with automotive window film.

How are automotive film laws changing? WFCT attendees got a refresher on the topic from long-time legislative consultant to the International Window Film Association (IWFA), Lynwood Butner.

Part of IWFA Education Day, Butner’s seminar laid out legal issues seen across the nation and explained what the IWFA does for the industry from a legislative perspective.

The first thing the IWFA says when they enter a legislative battle is “we want to work with you.”

Butner said the name of the seminar, “Changing Automotive Film Law,” could have just as easily been  “Keeping Automotive Film Laws the Same.”

“Our overriding goal is reasonable film laws,” Butner says. “We try to deal with it from a legislative and regulatory effort.”

One thing Butner suggested was to change the narrative on window film.

“It’s not just for looks,” Butner said. “It’s a critically important product for the health and safety of those we serve … Marketing happens on the lowest level.”

Butner said the IWFA partners with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) to identify any legislation that touches aftermarket. They’ll notify Butner if something happens with window film. The IWFA also gets information on legal battles from its members.

Illinois Success

Butner used the seminar to explain how the association takes part in legislation, such as the “success story” out of Illinois.

“The state had a law that said you couldn’t put anything on the front side and anything you wanted on the back,” he said. “That didn’t offer opportunities to our members or customers a robust choice in tint.”

So they had two installers that identified and went to two of the leaders of the Illinois legislature to lead the charge on changing the law.

“We got involved very early in the process,” he said. “We herded cats and did demonstrations and brought the police community together,” as well as unions, governing bodies, etc.

“We don’t go to the legislature first, we went to enforcement,” Butner said. Once they got on board with a new tint law, it was easy to convince the legislature.

“Now you can keep anything on the back or put 35 percent all the way around,” which Butner said is the preferred installation.

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