Dark tinting windows a risk for elderly drivers, says Miros

31 May 2016 / 19:34 H.

    KAJANG: Darker window tinting could seriously endanger elderly drivers' visual performance and does not significantly reduce the car cabin temperature, according to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros).

    In a research report by Miros entitled "A Study on Automotive Tint Glazing in Malaysia", excessive tinted windows with Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of 35% may hinder the visual capability of the drivers and occupants.

    “In the case of elderly drivers, their visual performance would be seriously affected both at VLT of 63% and 35%, and decline substantially if the surroundings of the target objects have low luminance contrast,” the report said.

    It also concluded that dark tinting films only prevented the entry of light and won’t translate to cooler cabin temperature.

    “Sun energy comprises visible light, infrared radiation and ultraviolet radiation with typical distribution of 43%, 54% and 3% respectively. These three elements of sun energy must be filtered out to make an efficient window tint,” said the report.

    Instead of darker tinting with lower VLT, the report said, infrared rejection plays a more significant role in reducing the heat penetration into the vehicle.

    In several tests conducted by Miros, a minimal temperature difference was observed among four Perodua Myvi fitted with tinted films cost between RM200 to RM400 of different VLT specifications.

    For the final cabin temperature recorded between 38°C to 42°C, tinted windshield recorded a reduction of 0.5°C to 1°C temperature when in motion. On the other hand, in a parked situation, it reduced the temperature by 2°C to 3°C compared to non-tinted windshield.

    The research also highlighted low VLT of 35% could pose safety and security risks to Malaysia’s enforcement personnel when performing their checks on vehicles.

    Citing a report by Virginia State Police in 1988, reduced visual due to heavy tint may impede the officer's ability to detect weapons, contraband, or threatening acts by the drivers or passengers.
    Miros also conducted a survey among 1,000 respondents with 72.5% admitted the reason for tinting their vehicles were hot weather at 67.8%, followed by security reasons (25.3%), reducing glare (20.9%) and privacy purpose (6.8%).
    “Most respondents perceived that by installing window tinting, it can reduce heat penetration due to hot weather situation in Malaysia,” the report noted.
    Almost three quarters of the respondents admitted that they do not know the legal specifications for dark tinting films or the amount of fines imposed by the government for breaching the VLT regulation.
    The survey also found that most cars fitted with tinted film do not meet the prescribed standards.
    “There were 73 vehicles inspected. Overall, about 60% and 50% of the inspected vehicles did not comply with the regulations for front windscreen (VLT at 70%) and other windows (VLT at 50%) respectively,” the report stated.

    On Feb 18, theSun reported that errant motorists will face higher fines and penalties under new rules gazetted since Feb 6.

    The latest regulation on dark tinting under the Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Certain Types of Glass) (Amendment) Rules 2016 signed on Jan 28, will see first time offenders to be fined up to RM2,000 or six months jail while repeat offenders can be fined up to RM4,000 or 12-month jail sentence, or both.

    However, in an attempt to defuse public anger on the new ruling, Road Transport Department clarified that a compound of RM300 is offered to those who wish not to prolong the matter in court.

    The only notable change under the 2016 regulation is the minimum VLT for rear side windows and rear windscreen set at 30%.

    Previously, the permissible level was set at minimum 50% VLT for rear side windows and rear windscreen.

    Meanwhile, the minimum VLT level for front windscreen remains at 70% and 50% for front side windows (driver and front passenger).


    thesundaily_my Sentifi Top 10 talked about stocks