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Automobile window tinting reduces the visible light transmission (VLT) through car windows. This can be problematic at night, when motorists must be able to see through the windows of other vehicles in order to spot hazards which would otherwise be obstructed. Police also may want to be able to identify the passengers in a vehicle.
In many jurisdictions, there are laws to ensure darkness of films do not present a danger to motorists:
* In the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an administration within the federal Department of Transportation (DOT), specifies a minimum of 70 percent VLT for window tinting on the windshield and the windows to the immediate left and right of the driver for commercial vehicles (the DOT does not regulate private vehicles). The DOT does not specify any VLT requirements for rear windows. State law may regulate laws for private vehicles and may go further than the requirements those set forth by the DOT; private vehicles may have tint on the windows to the immediate left and right of the driver as dark as 20 percent VLT, depending on the state.
* In Canada, automobile tinting laws are set at the provincial level.
* In the United Kingdom, regulations set forth by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 provide that all front windows in front of the B post can have no less than 70 percent VLT. Windscreens are only allowed tinting outside the sweep of the windscreen wipers to a maximum of six inches from the top of the windscreen. British police are increasingly cracking down on illegal tinting on vehicles.
* In Singapore, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) requires at least 70 percent VLT on the windscreen and front side windows and at least 25 percent for the rear windows.
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