In a state-wide crackdown on those driving cars with black tinted windows and windscreens, the Maharashtra Traffic Police has booked a total of 1.32 lakh motorists last year, when compared to cases recorded in the preceding year, which were 82,520.
Additionally, police have also fined them and collected Rs 1.60 crore last year and are yet to recover Rs 1.04 crore for the traffic violation.
Even after SC prohibited the use of tinted glass on vehicles, 1.32 lakh violators were caught in 2019, attracting a fine of Rs 2.64 crore, while that of the preceding year was Rs 1.63 crore. Despite a constant crackdown on these violations, there was a spurt of almost 50,000 violations recorded for using the black film in vehicles.
A senior state highway police officer said that the use of these films in vehicles poses a threat, and while policing it is difficult to see through such tinted windows and screens.
However, when caught, the most common excuse put forward by the violator is the soaring temperature in the city. Police said cars with tinted windows are often used in robberies, murders and crimes against women, which also helps suspects evade detection during police checks.
“While civilians do not understand that prohibition of tinted films on vehicles is not to invade privacy but to ensure security, they often just blame the increasing temperature and pollution. This rule is directed towards public safety as the use of dark glasses in cars has been linked to some criminal activities,” said the officer.
“People often complain about celebrities getting tinted glass on their cars, but that is for security concerns, for which appropriate permissions need to be taken from the Home ministry and the police authorities in order to do that,” said Vijay Patil, superintendent of police, Maharashtra Highway Police.
If caught, a violator has to pay Rs 200 as a fine for using the black tinted glass for the windows and windscreens of their vehicle. A transport expert said, “The fine amount for the offence needs to be increased to discourage motorists and act as a serious deterrent. Many violators who are challaned, are repeat offenders who do not mind paying fine again.”
SC order on black films
The use of black film or any other material on a vehicle’s windscreen and windows was prohibited by the Supreme Court in 2012. The orders strictly permitted only company-fitted tinted windows which allow 70 per cent visual transmission of light on the front windscreen and the rear window, and 50 per cent visual transmission of light for the remaining windows. Rules insist that the interiors of cars should be clearly visible from outside through both front and rear windshields.