Just recently, a friend of mine was stopped by the Michigan State Police for having committed the insidious crime of driving her vehicle that has tinted front windows. Tinted windows are regulated by individual states, and in the era of vehicle customizations for artistic purposes, they have become immensely popular, and thus they have also become a favorite target of the police harassment state. You can read an overview of the individual state laws here.
My friend was given a hefty ticket, and she could only avoid the monetary punishment by producing a prescription or a note from a doctor. She only recently bought the car, in used condition, with the windows already tinted. So she immediately reached out to two doctors she sees regularly, and she obtained, yes, a prescription from one doctor and a ‘doctor note’ from her second doctor. It’s easy to make crap up – these docs can spin it any way they want. She sent me copies of the doc note and the prescription, and I found both of them to be hilarious and heroic.
I have another friend who lives in the city of Detroit, where he has been ticketed numerous times for his window tint. He usually gets stopped by the same couple of cops. He is black, a large man, and he is a Muslim – and with his facial hair one can certainly tell that he is a Muslim. Each time he is stopped he is needlessly harassed, and still, he has refused to get rid of the tint. He is a very security-oriented person, and he likes his privacy, especially for his wife when she is driving alone.
On that note, I’ve always wanted a dark tint for both of my front windows, but I haven’t wanted to bring on the harassment that is sure to come with it. When I am stopped by bully cops for other reasons, the results have never been gainful. I have a Honda Element that has the rear windows tinted dark at 35% (legal in Michigan), with no significant tint on the front windows. Quite frankly, I am tired of being ‘checked out’ by strangers in vehicles next to me, especially at red lights.
I often have males – usually in work trucks or raggedy jalopies – making very blatant and unshakable visual contact with me. Even if I creep upward a few feet at the light to avoid their disturbing stare, they also creep up in order to roll right next to me. I’ll creep forward again, and they do the same…again. These are not rare occurrences. It’s gone so far as to have men (and cars full of male teenagers) roll down their windows and verbally harass me, even while I continue to look straight ahead and ignore them.
Dark tinted windows would help to solve some of these troubles I experience. Additionally, here in Detroit it is disturbingly common to have your windows punched out in order for thieves to steal the contents inside the vehicle, even when vehicles are parked in very public (busy) places. One bag or box in your vehicle is a huge enticement for the scavenger thieves to bust in. Dark windows are an impediment to theft because street criminals are more likely to take the risk of breaking into a vehicle when they can observe the vehicle’s contents.
The tale is that tinted windows became an enemy of the police state because of cops being shot while approaching vehicles with dark tinted windows. Dark windows do limit visibility, but if that were true, the same could happen with passengers behind the front seat in any car, or especially from the rear in an SUV. However, many states allow darker tinted (or unlimited tint) windows in the back of vehicles, as well as the rear of SUVs. Often, the allowance for tint on the front windows is dictated by how dark the back windows are tinted.
One reason the cops hate dark windows is because they serve as an impediment to the cause of breaking down individuality and suppressing driver autonomy. Since the roads have become a virtual forum for perpetual police harassment, road stops nowadays are anything but routine. Even the most harmless traffic violations end up with drivers being intimidated and interrogated by legal gangsters with plastic badges and plastic glocks. If you have ever been stopped in recent times, you will note how cops will approach your car – even when they have full visibility – as if you are a criminal, and they will talk to you as if you are guilty of a crime until deemed innocent upon their cross-examination. Though the law
enforcement harassment community claims this approach is necessary for officer safety, there are far more sinister reasons as to why innocent citizens who are being stopped for myriad “violations” are being treated as road felons.
The other issue with tinted windows is seat belt regulation. That is, the revenue raisers aren’t able to observe the lack of a seat belt through dark windows. That makes it impossible for them to stop and ticket peaceful drivers in order to keep the dough flowing into the local coffers to pay for the enlargement and advancement of the militarized-bureaucratic police state as well as the magnificent retirement bonanzas for its dedicated soldiers.
The crusade to harass drivers with tinted windows has become so villainous that the cops are now using light transmittance meters to measure the amount of light that comes through the windows. An article from Government Technology states:
Police around the country are starting to use a $200 device to crack down on vehicle window tint violators.
…Most states have had regulations in place for years limiting the amount of tint allowed on the front windows of a vehicle, but the availability and lowering cost of technology is allowing police to concentrate on enforcing such regulations more aggressively. In Aurora, police issued 291 citations for illegal window tint during the first five months of this year, whereas last year, officers only issued two citations during the first five months.
In fact, in Aurora (IL), events are held where the voluntary slaves can show up and have their windows checked by the bullies – for free! – and thus know whether or not they need to have the tint removed. That reminds me of my Neighborhood Watch group that holds an annual “Fingerprint Festival” where all the gleeful serfs show up at the neighborhood park to get their free hot dogs and partake in an ice cream social while they get voluntarily fingerprinted by the local police department as a way of showing their obedience to their Masters. I wish I was making that up, but alas, this is my neighborhood’s annual celebration of freedom.
Always remember that the real reason trotted out for this inane regulation restricting your rights with your own property is to protect you from yourself while also protecting innocent citizens who may be a casualty of your domain of darkness.
“The dark tinting found on some vehicles can result in reduced visibility for those drivers in their ability to see other traffic or objects, especially at night,” Ferguson said in a news release.
“The intent of our enforcement is to target violators that have modified their vehicles beyond factory specifications and what is allowed by law with excessively dark tinting on their vehicles that creates a hazard to others.”
In that case, there’s a whole lot more that has to be heavily regulated, including a driver’s mental faculties, driver age, car design, the visually bothersome sunset and sunrise, and even weather and darkness.
As to my friend, her ticket was dismissed by the magistrate. Next month I have to see my doc for some routine stuff, and I hope to wheedle him into giving me one of those permission slips. I’m sure if I look hard enough I can find something in my medical history that can justify it.