Massachusetts Has Laws on Tinted Windows, but Enforcing Them is Difficult

By John J. Sheehan car accident attorney at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan

Many people in Massachusetts tint the windows of their vehicle, and they may be well within the law. However, many are not, and that is a problem not only for law enforcement but for other drivers, as well.

Massachusetts law on tinted windows states that they must still allow 35 percent of light into the vehicle and many vehicle owners are not abiding by the law. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, 11,000 drivers failed their vehicle inspection in 2018 due to too much tint on their vehicle windows. The question is, what can be done about it?

These windows that are too dark are just one cause of accidents. However, eliminating the problem would also reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that arise from collisions. We cannot get rid of tinted windows completely, so law enforcement must figure out something.

State Police wrote over 4,000 citations in 2018 for tinted windows and are trying to enforce the law. However, while they have the discretion to stop a vehicle for an infraction, their power is limited.

For example, State Police cannot stop vehicles from out-of-state that have a darker tint on their windows than they should. Additionally, more and more manufacturers are releasing models that have darker tint, which makes the problem even tougher for law enforcement.

For the time being, law enforcement will continue to pull over vehicles with Massachusetts license plates and continue to warn drivers about the dangers of too much tint. One of the most important things to keep in mind, law enforcement says, is to never add tint to a vehicle that has manufacturer tint already installed. This will likely make it difficult for the driver to see and could cause a car accident.

Drivers should also remember the fine for having windows too dark is fairly steep. Motorists face a maximum fine of $250, and could even temporarily lose their license.

John Sheehan is a personal injury attorney and founder of the Law Office of John J. Sheehan. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, John Sheehan provides his clients with dedicated legal representation in cases involving car accidents, bus accidents, and wrongful death. He can be found on Twitter and Youtube.

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