Traffic police target illegally tinted car windows

Under the Cayman Islands Traffic Law, a driver can be sentenced to six months in prison and fined up to $2,500 for having illegally tinted windows.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has handed out a much higher-than-usual number of citations for illegally tinted car windows in recent weeks.

According to the RCIPS Traffic and Roads Policing Unit, 152 drivers were ticketed in June for having darker window tint than is allowed by law.

A further 171 tickets for illegal tinting were issued in May and 94 issued during the month of April.

“While the Traffic Law does allow for a certain degree of tinting on vehicles, excessive tinting can cause various issues, including affecting the safety of road users, facilitating crime and interfering with police officers’ ability to access and respond to situations in which a heavily tinted vehicle is involved,” said RCIPS Inspector Ian Yearwood.

Mr. Yearwood said front windscreens of vehicles cannot be tinted more than six inches from the top of the screen.

Under the Cayman Islands Traffic Law, a driver can be sentenced to six months in prison and fined up to $2,500 for having illegally tinted windows.

It is left to the discretion of the commissioner of police, in consultation with the director of the vehicle licensing department, to determine whether the tint is so dark that it would be considered unsafe to drive the car.

The front windshield of a vehicle must allow “not less than 70 percent light transmission,” with the exception of a maximum 6-inch wide strip that can be placed at the top portion of the windshield, according to the regulations.

The front side windows must allow a minimum of 35 percent light transmission. The rear windshield and rear side windows can allow less than 35 percent light transmission, but only if fitted by the vehicle manufacturer as standard equipment. In any case, tint on the rear windows of a vehicle must allow at least 15 percent light transmission.

Drivers with medical conditions or other “special public interest” reasons, as defined by the department of vehicle licensing director, may be allowed to have darker tinted windows on the sides and rear of the vehicle.

Speeding

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has also quadrupled the number of speeding tickets its officers have written during the first five months of this year when compared to the department’s ticketing output for 2017.

Between January and May 2018, RCIPS officers wrote an average of 223 speeding citations per month, compared to last year when officers wrote just 54 speeding tickets per month.

The police service nearly doubled the number of speeding citations written by officers for all of 2017 in just the first five months of this year. Through May 31, the RCIPS issued 1,117 speeding citations. During all of 2017, the department wrote just 647 such tickets.

The massive increase in speeding tickets comes at a time when Cayman has seen a significant number of fatal car accidents.

Between Feb. 15 and May 30, a total of six people died in collisions on local roadways.