IWFA Legislative Consultant Talks Automotive Tint Laws and Regulations

October 5th, 2017 by Katherine Coig

D.B. Smit, a legislative consultant from Richmond, Va. Smit addressed automotive tint laws and regulations during the International Window Film Association’s (IWFA) Education Day.

“We’d like to get to the point where we can recommend a [visible light transmission] standard to every state,” said D.B. Smit, a legislative consultant from Richmond, Va. Smit addressed automotive tint laws and regulations during the International Window Film Association’s (IWFA) Education Day.

“There’s a bias, particularly in law enforcement, against window tinting,” Smit said. “We’ve got to respect the very real feelings and very real reaction we’re going to get from law enforcement. We’ve got to show them that there are many good things that come from tint.”

An area of focus during the discussion was New York State’s law, which requires vehicles to meet at least 70-percent visible light transmittance (VLT) and is now included in the state’s annual vehicle inspection. The law went into effect earlier this year, and Smit, alongside the IWFA, have been working with legislators to raise the VLT.

“You’ve got three states that are adamant—New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. “They’re like a cluster. If we could just get one of those states [to amend current VLT requirements], we might be able to change things. They’re surrounded by states with very reasonable laws, but I think New York is going to be the toughest sell—we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

According to Smit and Smith, New York City legislators were the only representatives to vote in opposition of lowering the VLT. The pair also mentioned Pennsylvania is trying to include tint in its annual state inspection, following the tracks of its northern neighbor.

“Be involved,” Smit said. “Know your elected representatives, know the issues— you are our best lobbyist.”

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  1. Good column. Is there any timeline which any new proposals will be presented to the governor’s office to review lowering the allowable VLT in NYS? Not only is this costly to many drivers and not backed by any scientific study that reflects and adverse harm to law enforcement, I am sure it has impacted local tint shops state wide. On an average day, I have not seen any motorist being pulled over due to their window tint. If this is the case, then why are limo’s and taxies allowed to be tinted pitch black and the rear passenger windows of SUV’s? Seems like a fleecing of the public based on political rhetoric based on unsubstantiated data. I come from a family of law enforcement and they also agree.

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