Cops have no authority to remove tint from vehicles but drivers can volunteer to do so – Traffic Officer


Divisional Traffic Officer of Division 4A – (Georgetown), Deputy Superintendent Timothy Williams, during a recent programme hosted by the Guyana Police Force (GPF), weighed in on the issue of tinted vehicles in the country. He noted that only a “certifying officer” can remove the material if it is found that the vehicle is not permitted to be tinted.

“Once a vehicle is outfitted with tint, that vehicle is stopped by the police, that driver asked if he or she has a tint permit. If the answer is ‘no’, well then, the driver can volunteer to remove their tint, but the police don’t have the authority to remove the tint, we can ask the driver to remove the tint,” he explained.

“In that case where the driver refuses, the certifying officer would have to get involved. We notify the certifying officer who conducts an inspection by way of a tintometer to check on the density of the tint. Once it fails the required level or the light penetration, the certifying officer can revoke the tint and we prosecute the driver.”

Moreover, Williams noted that those persons who are granted tint permits must be aware that the vehicle’s front windscreen cannot be tinted.

“Permits do not be granted for somebody to place tint on their front windscreen…the problem with tint is the law states that at the time, if somebody from the outside looking into that vehicle must be able to recognise all the persons in that vehicle without any difficulty.”

“…35% of light must be able to penetrate that tint…because there is a tintometer and when the meter is placed on that tint it will indicate if 35% of light can penetrate that tint,” he added.

Williams also highlighted in most cases, the issue with tint is that persons do not want to go through the required process and would prefer to place any amount of tint on their vehicle without the necessary documents.

“That is the issue we had with tint because it depends on the time of the day, it depends on the individual who is looking into that vehicle and a lot of factors. But, yes, tint on vehicles is a very topical issue and yes, we have lot of persons who don’t want to go through the process of applying.”

“So, without going through the process of applying to get the requisite permit, they decided that they are going to put whatever tint they want on their vehicle and they just drive it like that and there goes the problem.”

“Because definitely they will be stopped by the police and asked for the requisite permit, so once that is the case, the certifying officer will have to get involved to ensure that the tint on that vehicle, the density is the required density that is permitted on the permit,” he further explained.

The tintometers are certified by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) and would have to be recalibrated regularly.

“When these devices came into the country, the Bureau of standards, they went through the regular checks and came with what we call a certificate. It’s just like the radar and the breathalyzer…they go the Bureau and the Bureau check them, ensure that the certificate is there before we utilise them.”

“The Traffic Chief, he has the certificates, I think most of them. The certificates are valid for a year and when that year is up, we recall them, we take them into the Bureau of Standards for them to be recalibrated and once they are okay, we use them back.”

According to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act, “No person shall have fitted to his motor vehicle and glass or safety glass or any material used in the place of such glass or safety glass which is so tinted or otherwise treated or coloured in such a manner or to such extent, as would result in obstructing the identification of the driver of the motor vehicle or any other person travelling in the motor vehicle by any person from outside the motor vehicle.”