A car window with 70 per cent tint. (Philip Cheung / The National)
A car window with 70 per cent tint. (Philip Cheung / The National)

Dark window tints are a clear danger



The issue of car-window tinting has been divisive for many years. While it makes sense to tint car windows to reduce glare and help control the temperature inside the vehicle, using a tint that is too dark is both a safety hazard and a security issue. That is why the law stipulates that the maximum allowable tint is 30 per cent.

It is, however, a law that is widely ignored. A 2013 survey by The National found that more than 10 per cent of 1,134 vehicles counted along a busy road had illegal window tinting. The problem has not gone away, with road-safety expert Andy Dean saying this week that the law against darker tints must be more strictly enforced "because there are plenty of cars out there with windows so heavily tinted that they're like a big black box".

The reasons people tint their windows to the point where it is very difficult to see into the vehicle – and, significantly, to see out – range from privacy and cultural issues to vanity. As one young driver put it, it “looks cool”. While it is understood that some people wish to guard their privacy, public safety should take precedence. Drivers who cannot properly see out of the windscreen, or through the rear-view mirrors, are a danger to themselves, their passengers and every other road user. Heavy tints obstruct the work of the police and rescue workers, making it difficult for them to identify suspects in criminal cases or victims in accidents. A fully blacked-out car can also be intimidating to other drivers.

In a country that has a high number of road deaths, eliminating the widespread use of illegal window tints ought to be a priority. No excuse is valid. If glare is a problem, wear sunglasses. If privacy is a concern, dress more modestly. If the car is hot after being parked in the sun, then crank up the air-conditioning. The law, which provides for a Dh500 fine and 30-day confiscation of the vehicle, should be enforced without fear or favour. Businesses that offer illegal tinting services should be penalised, too. It is simply not good enough to warn a customer that a certain tint is illegal, then install it any way.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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Electric scooters: some rules to remember
  • Riders must be 14-years-old or over
  • Wear a protective helmet
  • Park the electric scooter in designated parking lots (if any)
  • Do not leave electric scooter in locations that obstruct traffic or pedestrians
  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
  • Do not drive outside designated lanes