The window tinting debate

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

The window tinting debate

Postby The 2nd Womble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:19 pm

There has been a growing call in recent weeks by vulnerable road user groups for the Federal and State government's to clamp down on the booming window tinting industry in Oz.
There is concern for the fact that all States and Territories are allowing motorists to apply darker tinting films (up to T35 - 35% light transmittance) to their vehicles in spite of the legal requirements set out under the Australian Design Rules.
The main reasons for this action are detailed below in an excerpt from correspondence between these groups and the TAC recently:


"Safe driving requires the driver to have the best possible vision of the road and other road users. Any reduction in driver vision, particularly in poor light conditions, such as twilight or wet weather conditions, will lead to a reduction in safety.
Tinted windows can significantly reduce driver vision. This is likely to be more critical for the elderly and other people with even minor vision disabilities. Therefore, it is desirable that the light transmittance of windows on a motor vehicle is not reduced below the level as supplied by the vehicle manufacturer.
Nevertheless, windows on motor vehicles are often tinted with the intention of reducing heat, glare, and ultraviolet light transmittance into the cabin of the vehicle. However, tint films may not significantly reduce the transmittance of ultraviolet light into the vehicle as the glazing material used in the windows of motor vehicles already blocks out most of the ultraviolet light. While a tint film may have some effect in reducing heat transmittance into the vehicle it can also cause an increase in cabin temperature by retaining heat in the vehicle."

While SCA feels there is some merit to this action being taken in southern States, we feel it well worth pointing out that due to Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory exposed to some of the harshest light and heat conditions in the world - albeit on a seasonal basis in some areas - the argument that dark window tints promote poor vision and the reduction in the ability of an operator to control their vehicle is in fact a counterintuitive proposition.
We also inclined to argue that current legislation which is uniform across the country requiring motor vehicles to have tints no darker than T35, and the requirement for tint-free front windscreens, is acceptable given the climate further north.
Additionally, with regard to the argument that tinting prevents other road users from being able to guage the intentions of motorists we think is by and large an invalid point.
We argue that second guessing other road users is at best a perilous passtime and at worst, a tragedy waiting to happen.
We are of the firm belief that even the most skilled and experienced drivers, motor bike riders and cyclists can and do make mistakes. You cannot rely on all going according to plan without incident. We have a road toll for a reason.
In SCA's opinion, the lack of window tinting does not make the average (underskilled) Aussie motorist more predictable or more competent, and in harsher conditions such as had here in Brisbane today - 36 degrees C@3pm and the UV Index (AT) Extreme - two way visiblity is not significantly impared. In fact the SCAMobile is tinted to T35, and you can still clearly see both in and outside even after dusk. If I personally felt it impared my ability to drive safely I would not drive with it.
I would love to hear your thoughts for and against window tinting standards in Oz, so please let us know what you think of our proposed position as the calls for greater regulation of the tinting industry become increasingly louder.

*Photo: The SCAMobile with T35 tinting. taken in Brisbane at 5.54pm today.
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by BNA » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:40 pm

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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:40 pm

so, is there any evidence that this new boom in tinting has actually led to more accidents cause of this tinting thing ??
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby The 2nd Womble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:53 pm

So far comparisons are being made with the British and European experience, where cars are usually not legally permitted the use of tints less than T70 on the front side windows. Remember too that German and French cars come equipped from the factory with tinted door mirror glass and - quite strongly - blue tinted front windscreens. The fact that they are spec'd as standard with various tints, allowing them to sideskirt ADR's. alot of European cars also avoid being pinged for less than 100mm minimum ground clearance in the same way. Take a look at the next newer Peugeot you spot on the road.
Another argument being used is that in some US states, dark tints are banned for the safety of police officers after incidents of more than a few being shot through glass due to not being able to see inside.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:37 pm

damhooligan wrote:so, is there any evidence that this new boom in tinting has actually led to more accidents cause of this tinting thing ??



I just repeat the question..
As that has not been answered....
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby The 2nd Womble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:52 pm

Evidence has been cited. If any of the multitude of emails I have received from those concerned include stats, I'll post them soon. Unfortunately our god daughters are doing their best to tear the house apart ATM :|
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby The 2nd Womble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:01 pm

Here is just some of the info being passed around currently. It's worth noting that for the most part this advocacy is being pushed in Victoria. Most of the reports are merely Canadian, British and American legislation and their reasoning, but no supportive evidence is contained in any of them. Will do more digging for you.
I hope they can be opened after posting.

http://casr.adelaide.edu.au/publication ... ASR002.pdf
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1 ... 1399185577
Last edited by The 2nd Womble on Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:13 pm

damhooligan wrote:so, is there any evidence that this new boom in tinting has actually led to more accidents cause of this tinting thing ??


C'mon Hooli, you should know better than to let something like evidence get in the way of a good crusade :P

I'd like to see some sort of standard enforced but tell me Dave, if different standards were enacted on geographic lines wouldn't it mean you'd be unable to drive a QLD spec vehicle in other states? Sorta bugger the market in motoring holidays.

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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby The 2nd Womble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:14 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
damhooligan wrote:so, is there any evidence that this new boom in tinting has actually led to more accidents cause of this tinting thing ??


C'mon Hooli, you should know better than to let something like evidence get in the way of a good crusade :P

I'd like to see some sort of standard enforced but tell me Dave, if different standards were enacted on geographic lines wouldn't it mean you'd be unable to drive a QLD spec vehicle in other states? Sorta bugger the market in motoring holidays.

Shaun

It would be a mess indeed. Most vehicles must be road worthied if not registered to a new state within 3 months. Legislation and enforcement in Oz regarding vehicle compliance is a tad slack at the best of times. Maybe we need to adopt the NZ system whereby every car must be roadworthied every 12 months in order for it to remain registered.



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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby greyhoundtom » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:24 pm

I made the mistake of having T35 tinting applied to all the windows except the windscreen on a van I used to transport greyhounds.

While it was great on sunny days it caused some real problems in night time driving, and was the direct cause of one accident, (my fault not seeing a vehicle on my left) and several near misses.

Heavy tinting definitely affects night time driving, and could IMHO cause a driver not to see a cyclist when moving into a left hand lane, as it also affects the available vision in mirrors seen through the tinted windows.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby find_bruce » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:29 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:It would be a mess indeed. Most vehicles must be road worthied if not registered to a new state within 3 months. Legislation and enforcement in Oz regarding vehicle compliance is a tad slack at the best of times. Maybe we need to adopt the NZ system whereby every car must be roadworthied every 12 months in order for it to remain registered.



Otherwise, don't get caught?

Wouldn't that be the NSW system ?
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:07 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
damhooligan wrote:so, is there any evidence that this new boom in tinting has actually led to more accidents cause of this tinting thing ??


C'mon Hooli, you should know better than to let something like evidence get in the way of a good crusade :P

I'd like to see some sort of standard enforced but tell me Dave, if different standards were enacted on geographic lines wouldn't it mean you'd be unable to drive a QLD spec vehicle in other states? Sorta bugger the market in motoring holidays.

Shaun

lol.. , fair point...

And dave, sorry, i wasn't asking for specific references, or graphics..
Just wanted to know if there IS a link between accidents and this allowance of t35 tinted windows.

Also what is the current tinting allowance ?
and at what t factor is affecting the drivers vieuw ??

The t35 window in the pic, does not look concernng to me at all.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby The 2nd Womble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:27 pm

What I can tell you before bed Hooli is that in Qld the Police carry light transmittance meters and will check anyone suspected of darker than legal tints. T35 certainly is legal and is deemed safe by them on testing.
I'll go into more detail for all tomorrow on this subject :)
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby Oxford » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:27 am

T+?? where ?? is anything above 0% can vary on its affect with different people and different conditions. For example our car has tinting, no idea what level, but probably close to T35. My wife has terrible night vision so will not drive at night unless absolutely necessary. So for her T35 is bad. Doesn't worry me at all. So there really is no definitive answer.

What I would like to know is whether tinting is a recordable issue on accident reporting? If not, then there is never going to be accurate stats for it anyway.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:53 am

When i was buying my current car i also looked at another car which had quite light tinting. I sat in it and immediately ruled it out as it was blindingly obvious that it would interfere with my vision to a dangerous degree, regardless of the weather (it was a mild sunny day). I'm 25, with no vision issues.

Tongue in cheek, i would say for a fair few of those with T35 or darker illegal tints, it wouldn't be an issue as they don't look anyway...
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:50 am

greyhoundtom wrote:I made the mistake of having T35 tinting applied to all the windows except the windscreen on a van I used to transport greyhounds.

While it was great on sunny days it caused some real problems in night time driving, and was the direct cause of one accident, (my fault not seeing a vehicle on my left) and several near misses.

Heavy tinting definitely affects night time driving, and could IMHO cause a driver not to see a cyclist when moving into a left hand lane, as it also affects the available vision in mirrors seen through the tinted windows.

Correction to my previous post.........I just found the receipt for the tinting on the van in a drawer full of various warranties and it was T25 not T35. :oops:
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby maestro » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:16 pm

damhooligan wrote:The t35 window in the pic, does not look concernng to me at all.

This is because that photo is one of the dodgiest excuses for "evidence" that I have ever seen! Whoever included that photo as an example of window tinting is either deliberately attempting to deceive people, or doesn't know enough about light, cameras and human eyes to be able to make any sort of constructive argument on this issue.

my detailed explanation, skip this section for TLDR wrote:A camera has only a limited range of brightness that it can record (known as its "dynamic range") and each photo has to have the exposure controlled so that the useful detail is within that range. Anything brighter than this range will saturate the sensor and will appear pure white (doesn't matter if it's 1% or 1000% outside the range, it will appear white in the photo). When you take a photo with a digital camera (all models from crappy phone cameras right up to SLRs) the processor in the camera tries to work out what part of the image you are interested in, and adjusts the exposure (aperture, ISO value and shutter speed) to keep that area of the photo in the middle of the dynamic range (so you can see the detail you intended to photograph). In the event that you have a huge range (eg, shadows vs. bright sky) then the camera cannot get the whole photo correctly exposed and will choose (in this case) the shadowy detail, which causes the sky to saturate.

Looking at the colours displayed in my browser, the colours saturated to 255,255,253 (R,G,B) in the bright area with tinting... They have *exactly* the same value in the bright area without tinting. In other words, there is absolutely no difference in the brightness of the white between the two parts of the photo that we are supposed to be comparing (so don't even bother trying to pick a difference). Note that the slightly lower blue value is probably a technical limitation in the camera.

This works in a very similar way for our eyes... The iris will open and close to adjust the amount of light that enters in response to the brightness of what we are looking at, so simple comparisons where a passenger looks out a tinted window are pretty meaningless as their eyes have adjusted. A much better comparison would be to look out the untinted windscreen and either quickly glance or try to spot something out the corner of your eye through a side window. This is also a much more realistic comparison to when a driver needs to see something important.


The only meaningful comparison I get out of this photo is by looking at the right hand side where you can see some trees near the ground with no sky backlighting them. You will notice that the untinted section has much more detail showing than the tinted section. (You may have to save the image to your PC and then open it, as the forum crops the right hand side off when I view it)

The 2nd Womble wrote:Additionally, with regard to the argument that tinting prevents other road users from being able to guage the intentions of motorists we think is by and large an invalid point.
We argue that second guessing other road users is at best a perilous passtime and at worst, a tragedy waiting to happen.

I completely disagree with this, and now have a very low opinion of whoever this "SCA" is!!! I look at other drivers all the time, and sometimes you need to be more careful because you can see that they're not paying attention. This is not "second guessing", in fact it reduces the need to second guess.
A few weeks ago I was driving, and saw a car about to pull out from a side street. It was obvious from quite a distance that the driver was focussed on a break in cars coming the opposite way and there wasn't the expected double-check head movement in my direction. I slowed down and sure enough they started to pull out right in front of me. I hit the horn and the brakes and we both stopped without any collision. Had I not been able to see the other driver I wouldn't have slowed down and there *would* have been an accident. I cannot see any possible way It could have been avoided.
Now, that was as a driver... As a cyclist I am doubly keen to see whether drivers are looking at me (yes, some pull out anyway, but the ones that *keep* looking at you are giving you feedback that they have seen you). I *hate* heavily tinted windows as you have no idea what they're thinking, you can't tell if they're using their phone, if they've turned around to yell at kids in the back, if they never even looked in the first place, if they're waving for you to go ahead, or anything like that. I like clear, or minimally tinted, windows as you get quite a lot of feedback with a significant positive impact on safety and you aren't left second guessing what's going on in the car... As someone said "second guessing other road users is at best a perilous passtime and at worst, a tragedy waiting to happen." so let's reduce that horrible second guessing by not tinting too much!

The 2nd Womble wrote:We are of the firm belief that even the most skilled and experienced drivers, motor bike riders and cyclists can and do make mistakes. You cannot rely on all going according to plan without incident.

Exactly, so why block visibility? It just removes another way we can see things coming and reduce the impact of those mistakes (see my example above where the other driver failed to look). This has to be one of the stupidest arguments I have ever seen.

damhooligan wrote:and at what t factor is affecting the drivers vieuw ??

Any amount will affect a driver's view, even the simple untinted glass in the window will have a negative effect.
The question is at what point will the effect become intolerable (which is a hugely subjective term, but you will never get any definitive answer where human eyesight or behaviour is concerned).

There are five critical points that I have on this issue...
1) Tinted side windows significantly reduce peripheral vision when looking through an untinted windscreen as your eyes have adjusted for the bright forward view.
2) Reduced light reduces the ability to perceive motion. This is particularly notable in peripheral vision.
3) What may be safe for one person may not be safe for another. What will happen if someone borrows the car? Will they check? One positive thing about Australian laws are that a heap of safety issues can be taken for granted because of a requirement to meet certain standards.
4) Some people believe that complying with the law means "safe"... In other words if the law says that T35 is OK, then it must be safe for them. This phenomenon can often be seen in adverse conditions in relation to speed limits.
5) Some people just don't care and we need a hard-and-fast rule that can be enforced. (we can't have a rule saying that a tint must be at a "safe level" as it will get abused and there will be no recourse)

Points 1 and 2 are of particular concern to cyclists who are often the vulnerable small moving object in someone's tinted peripheral vision. What do you think higher tint levels will do to the SMIDSY rate?


2nd Womble... Can you give some more information as to the source of your original post? Was it the TAC or a vulnerable road user group? And if the latter, which one?
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby ironhanglider » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:20 pm

I'm pretty sure this car didn't have tinted windows, so this'd be all right then.



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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby damhooligan » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:00 pm

maestro wrote:
damhooligan wrote:The t35 window in the pic, does not look concernng to me at all.

This is because that photo is one of the dodgiest excuses for "evidence" that I have ever seen! Whoever included that photo as an example of window tinting is either deliberately attempting to deceive people, or doesn't know enough about light, cameras and human eyes to be able to make any sort of constructive argument on this issue.

my detailed explanation, skip this section for TLDR wrote:A camera has only a limited range of brightness that it can record (known as its "dynamic range") and each photo has to have the exposure controlled so that the useful detail is within that range. Anything brighter than this range will saturate the sensor and will appear pure white (doesn't matter if it's 1% or 1000% outside the range, it will appear white in the photo). When you take a photo with a digital camera (all models from crappy phone cameras right up to SLRs) the processor in the camera tries to work out what part of the image you are interested in, and adjusts the exposure (aperture, ISO value and shutter speed) to keep that area of the photo in the middle of the dynamic range (so you can see the detail you intended to photograph). In the event that you have a huge range (eg, shadows vs. bright sky) then the camera cannot get the whole photo correctly exposed and will choose (in this case) the shadowy detail, which causes the sky to saturate.

Looking at the colours displayed in my browser, the colours saturated to 255,255,253 (R,G,B) in the bright area with tinting... They have *exactly* the same value in the bright area without tinting. In other words, there is absolutely no difference in the brightness of the white between the two parts of the photo that we are supposed to be comparing (so don't even bother trying to pick a difference). Note that the slightly lower blue value is probably a technical limitation in the camera.

This works in a very similar way for our eyes... The iris will open and close to adjust the amount of light that enters in response to the brightness of what we are looking at, so simple comparisons where a passenger looks out a tinted window are pretty meaningless as their eyes have adjusted. A much better comparison would be to look out the untinted windscreen and either quickly glance or try to spot something out the corner of your eye through a side window. This is also a much more realistic comparison to when a driver needs to see something important.


The only meaningful comparison I get out of this photo is by looking at the right hand side where you can see some trees near the ground with no sky backlighting them. You will notice that the untinted section has much more detail showing than the tinted section. (You may have to save the image to your PC and then open it, as the forum crops the right hand side off when I view it)

The 2nd Womble wrote:Additionally, with regard to the argument that tinting prevents other road users from being able to guage the intentions of motorists we think is by and large an invalid point.
We argue that second guessing other road users is at best a perilous passtime and at worst, a tragedy waiting to happen.

I completely disagree with this, and now have a very low opinion of whoever this "SCA" is!!! I look at other drivers all the time, and sometimes you need to be more careful because you can see that they're not paying attention. This is not "second guessing", in fact it reduces the need to second guess.
A few weeks ago I was driving, and saw a car about to pull out from a side street. It was obvious from quite a distance that the driver was focussed on a break in cars coming the opposite way and there wasn't the expected double-check head movement in my direction. I slowed down and sure enough they started to pull out right in front of me. I hit the horn and the brakes and we both stopped without any collision. Had I not been able to see the other driver I wouldn't have slowed down and there *would* have been an accident. I cannot see any possible way It could have been avoided.
Now, that was as a driver... As a cyclist I am doubly keen to see whether drivers are looking at me (yes, some pull out anyway, but the ones that *keep* looking at you are giving you feedback that they have seen you). I *hate* heavily tinted windows as you have no idea what they're thinking, you can't tell if they're using their phone, if they've turned around to yell at kids in the back, if they never even looked in the first place, if they're waving for you to go ahead, or anything like that. I like clear, or minimally tinted, windows as you get quite a lot of feedback with a significant positive impact on safety and you aren't left second guessing what's going on in the car... As someone said "second guessing other road users is at best a perilous passtime and at worst, a tragedy waiting to happen." so let's reduce that horrible second guessing by not tinting too much!

The 2nd Womble wrote:We are of the firm belief that even the most skilled and experienced drivers, motor bike riders and cyclists can and do make mistakes. You cannot rely on all going according to plan without incident.

Exactly, so why block visibility? It just removes another way we can see things coming and reduce the impact of those mistakes (see my example above where the other driver failed to look). This has to be one of the stupidest arguments I have ever seen.

damhooligan wrote:and at what t factor is affecting the drivers vieuw ??

Any amount will affect a driver's view, even the simple untinted glass in the window will have a negative effect.
The question is at what point will the effect become intolerable (which is a hugely subjective term, but you will never get any definitive answer where human eyesight or behaviour is concerned).

There are five critical points that I have on this issue...
1) Tinted side windows significantly reduce peripheral vision when looking through an untinted windscreen as your eyes have adjusted for the bright forward view.
2) Reduced light reduces the ability to perceive motion. This is particularly notable in peripheral vision.
3) What may be safe for one person may not be safe for another. What will happen if someone borrows the car? Will they check? One positive thing about Australian laws are that a heap of safety issues can be taken for granted because of a requirement to meet certain standards.
4) Some people believe that complying with the law means "safe"... In other words if the law says that T35 is OK, then it must be safe for them. This phenomenon can often be seen in adverse conditions in relation to speed limits.
5) Some people just don't care and we need a hard-and-fast rule that can be enforced. (we can't have a rule saying that a tint must be at a "safe level" as it will get abused and there will be no recourse)

Points 1 and 2 are of particular concern to cyclists who are often the vulnerable small moving object in someone's tinted peripheral vision. What do you think higher tint levels will do to the SMIDSY rate?


2nd Womble... Can you give some more information as to the source of your original post? Was it the TAC or a vulnerable road user group? And if the latter, which one?



Its logical that a reduction in visibility wil have negative effects.
For two reasons, not being able to see the driver, and reduced visibilty for the driver.
Both of them are not good, and this is important that we keep on top of this.

I was wondering, wich factor would be 'the limit'..., ben then I got thinking...
From my background, dutch, we kept it simple, the front window, and the 2 side front windows must be left untouched.
Nothing is allowed there, so no fuss about T factors, as nothing is allowed, easy...

So mayby we should aim for the same thing here??
No tinting of the front windows.

This wil solve a lot of issues... 8)
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby human909 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:48 am

If the arguments of "we shouldn't fight against MHL because it distracts from more important issues" and "we shouldn't do things to annoy motorists" are valid. Then surely this fits inside that category! :shock:


Personally I don't see this as a big cycling issue but more of a general road safety issue. I'm surprised cycle advocacy is going after this, but as I've said before it's up to those at the helm.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby herzog » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:52 am

+1. Pick your battles.

Texting while driving is the number one threat to cyclists right now in my view. And it's getting worse.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby gorilla monsoon » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:18 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:So far comparisons are being made with the British and European experience, where cars are usually not legally permitted the use of tints less than T70 on the front side windows. Remember too that German and French cars come equipped from the factory with tinted door mirror glass and - quite strongly - blue tinted front windscreens. The fact that they are spec'd as standard with various tints, allowing them to sideskirt ADR's. alot of European cars also avoid being pinged for less than 100mm minimum ground clearance in the same way. Take a look at the next newer Peugeot you spot on the road.
Another argument being used is that in some US states, dark tints are banned for the safety of police officers after incidents of more than a few being shot through glass due to not being able to see inside.


Not quite sure of those claims, Womble 2. ALL cars imported into Australia have to meet ALL the relevant Australian Design Rules otherwise they dobn't get in. I had a look at a lot of new Peugeots recently. Didn't see one with less than 100mm ground clearance. Do you realise that racing V8 Supercars have almost 100mm ground clearance? I doubt there are any stock road cars that would be that low, including the likes of Porsche 911.

I was in Europe last week. Drove Audi, Mercedes-Benz and VW product and did not encounter one with any blue tinting on any glass.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby The 2nd Womble » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:49 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:So far comparisons are being made with the British and European experience, where cars are usually not legally permitted the use of tints less than T70 on the front side windows. Remember too that German and French cars come equipped from the factory with tinted door mirror glass and - quite strongly - blue tinted front windscreens. The fact that they are spec'd as standard with various tints, allowing them to sideskirt ADR's. alot of European cars also avoid being pinged for less than 100mm minimum ground clearance in the same way. Take a look at the next newer Peugeot you spot on the road.
Another argument being used is that in some US states, dark tints are banned for the safety of police officers after incidents of more than a few being shot through glass due to not being able to see inside.


Not quite sure of those claims, Womble 2. ALL cars imported into Australia have to meet ALL the relevant Australian Design Rules otherwise they dobn't get in. I had a look at a lot of new Peugeots recently. Didn't see one with less than 100mm ground clearance. Do you realise that racing V8 Supercars have almost 100mm ground clearance? I doubt there are any stock road cars that would be that low, including the likes of Porsche 911.

I was in Europe last week. Drove Audi, Mercedes-Benz and VW product and did not encounter one with any blue tinting on any glass.


Alot of European cars exported to hotter parts of the world do indeed have a heat reflective metal oxide coating over the glass designed to keep UV rays out. Citroen's, some Peugeot's and the odd Lexus or two have these heat reflective windscreens which sometimes gives a blue tint to the glass. Cars that commonly have heat reflective windscreens include the Citroen Picasso and C5, Peugeot 206cc, Renault Megane and Laguna, GM (Vauxhall/Opel Zafira.
As for ground clearance, some of the models in Mercedes S-Class have been measured as low as 87mm at their lowest point. From memory, if it's been cited as a safety feature in some way or other, the ADR's can be bypassed by the manufacturer and only the manufacturer.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby The 2nd Womble » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:13 pm

"This is because that photo is one of the dodgiest excuses for "evidence" that I have ever seen! Whoever included that photo as an example of window tinting is either deliberately attempting to deceive people, or doesn't know enough about light, cameras and human eyes to be able to make any sort of constructive argument on this issue."

I have a name for vitriolic armchair experts such as yourself "sunshine"... See what I did there?
Maestro, There is nothing at all misleading about the picture taken. It shows a T35 tinted front side window, with not alot to prevent an aware driver from being able to make rational, safe and appropriate descisions whilst behind the wheel.
As for needing to predict the actions of another driver, yes there is a valid point where scenario's like dooring are concerned, but if I ever start to feel the need to second guess what a driver is doing by the observance of their actions behind the wheel while driving instead of the physical reaction of the vehicle to it's driver, it'll be the day I write my truck and most likely a few drivers off when things go pear shaped.
Please do enlighten me, these SCA scoundrels, and everyone else on the issue of tinted glass in the detail I just know you're capable of and itching to spew forth. Don't be afraid to use long science type words. We can look them up.
I do apologise Maestro for not consulting with you first before posting. I didn't realise we had an obtuse, exceptionally sharp tongued, over opinionated, eternally correct light spectrum hoodicky expert who most likely holds a Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research into the idiocy of views not aligned with his own :lol:
Opinions expressed as needlessly confrontationally as yours usually don't prompt me to read to far into them, and as such, your rant and my reluctance to read it will not force myself or SCA to rethink it's position. The posts of others raise some worthwhile points both for and against. Yours saw me switch off after the second quote. 8)
Please do tell me Mr Twisted Y-Fronts, have you ever owned a car with tinting or not?
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby maestro » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:52 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:I have a name for vitriolic armchair experts such as yourself "sunshine"... See what I did there?

Apologies for the perceived vitriol, it was unintended. Please note that I am a stereotypical introverted engineer and am far better technically than I am socially. (please don't construe this as me saying I'm perfect technically, just that I'm far worse in other areas).
Your post was presented as some correspondence between organisations who are involved in shaping government policies and I replied from that point of view. If the post was put forward as being from you personally, the reply would certainly have been different.
For a vitriol free summary of my previous post, please look only at the section after the last quote.
BTW, I did like that "sunshine" bit :)
Please note my increased use of smileys as an attempt to be less confrontational. :) :) :) :)

The 2nd Womble wrote:There is nothing at all misleading about the picture taken. It shows a T35 tinted front side window, with not alot to prevent an aware driver from being able to make rational, safe and appropriate descisions whilst behind the wheel.

I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree, the photo was presented as a demonstration of the effects of tinting and I believe that it was misleading in this context, and I have gone into detail as to why I believe that. I intended my further explanations to link exactly why it was misleading with some specifics of the real world problems with tinting, hence my reference to not understanding enough to be able to make a constructive argument. Your post (except the first paragraph) was presented as part of a discussion between "vulnerable road user groups" and the TAC. It annoyed me that people discussing serious safety issues at this level would cite evidence that I saw as seriously flawed and, in my opinion, demonstrated serious ignorance of critical parts of the subject matter. This was the reason behind my unusually strong reaction/response. Again, this is my opinion, and I am more than willing to provide specific reasoning as to why I think this.
It should be noted that I did not ever express an opinion as to whether T35 tints are dangerous... merely that I am unable to form an opinion based on that photo.

The 2nd Womble wrote:As for needing to predict the actions of another driver, yes there is a valid point where scenario's like dooring are concerned, but if I ever start to feel the need to second guess what a driver is doing by the observance of their actions behind the wheel while driving instead of the physical reaction of the vehicle to it's driver, it'll be the day I write my truck and most likely a few drivers off when things go pear shaped.

I will use whatever means available to look out for trouble and observing a driver's body language has proven very useful, as per my example. Maybe I misunderstand what you mean by "second guess", but if my example where I saw another driver never looking in my direction before pulling out would be considered "second guessing" then I think you should consider trying it one day. (this example can be found in the section after I quoted you for the first time, just so you don't have to wade through the rest)

The 2nd Womble wrote:Please do enlighten me, these SCA scoundrels, and everyone else on the issue of tinted glass in the detail I just know you're capable of and itching to spew forth. Don't be afraid to use long science type words. We can look them up.

I thought I had, although you would need to read past the second quote. :)

The 2nd Womble wrote:I do apologise Maestro for not consulting with you first before posting. I didn't realise we had an obtuse, exceptionally sharp tongued, over opinionated, eternally correct light spectrum hoodicky expert who most likely holds a Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research into the idiocy of views not aligned with his own :lol:

Wow, it seems that even my vitriol isn't up to par! :)
The 2nd Womble wrote:groundbreaking research into the idiocy of views not aligned with his own

That's probably the best description of internet forums that I have ever seen :D I'll try to be less like the rabble in future.

The 2nd Womble wrote:Opinions expressed as needlessly confrontationally as yours usually don't prompt me to read to far into them, and as such, your rant and my reluctance to read it will not force myself or SCA to rethink it's position.

Everyone has the right to their opinions and no one is forcing you to read my post, please also note that my opinion of you will be at least partially based on your response. Also, please note that I believe we share a common goal - cyclist safety (and safety in general), it's just that we have different ways of approaching it, different opinions on how to obtain it, and different reasons for those opinions. I was attempting a constructive discussion, I guess I failed. :oops: Any chance of a second try?

The 2nd Womble wrote:Please do tell me Mr Twisted Y-Fronts, have you ever owned a car with tinting or not?

Yes, I have owned both, although the tints were not heavy (I don't know what T value, but undoubtably higher than T35). I have also driven heavily tinted cars (that I have been told have the maximum legal tint) and have considered the tint to be dark enough to have a material affect on safety.

The 2nd Womble wrote:The posts of others raise some worthwhile points both for and against. Yours saw me switch off after the second quote. 8)

Apologies again for my uninteresting technical argument and discouraging vitriol. If I can direct you to the section below the final quote in my last post then you will find a summary of my thoughts (without any vitriol) which you may be more inclined to discuss. The rest of the post is basically just technical explanations and examples which explain my opinions.
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Re: The window tinting debate

Postby Kenzo » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:07 pm

*Kenzo applauds....
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