Driving dangerously in the comforts of tinted glasses

ABU DHABI — It is true that tinted car windows provide motorists with privacy and less glare from the sun. They also protect the upholstery. However, the technique might be perilous as most automobile owners seemed to be using the shade to not fasten the seat belts, endangering their lives.

By Nada S.mussallam

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Published: Sat 3 Nov 2007, 8:56 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:34 AM

Tinted glass in car

In the UAE, the majority of nationals and a considerable number of expatriates have their car windows tinted. Under the rules, motorists are allowed to apply a 30 per cent colouring on windows. Taxi drivers, meanwhile, are banned from using tinted windows.

Among nearly 50 drivers Khaleej Times spoke with, the majority said tinted windows encourage motorists to violate the seat belt rule, especially at night, because the tint film helps them to cheat patrol and traffic officials.

They believe the many advantages of tinted glasses outweigh their negligence and indifference to the seat belt rule.

Although they all agreed that fastening the seat belt is an important safety measure during mishaps, they feel abiding by the regulation is a little too stifling.

“I hate tightening the seat belt. I feel it is a constraint that bothers me while driving. My car windows are tinted. It makes it easier for me to avoid fastening the seat belt. I am not worried about being caught by the traffic patrols because it is difficult for them to find out that I am cheating,” said Ahmed Hassan, Syrian national.

He admitted that if his car windows were not tinted, he would have been compelled to fasten the belt all the time because “I cannot afford to pay the Dh100 fine”, added Hassan.

A UAE national, Rashid Mohammed, said: “I never comply with the seat belt rule. Tinted windows not only give privacy and prevents burglars from seeing the contents in my car but also gives me a comfortable feeling that I won’t be caught by the police.”

Meanwhile, a recent study conducted by the Traffic and Patrol Department in Abu Dhabi Police showed that the majority of drivers who flout the seat belt rule were nationals while taxi drivers were complying with the rule.

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