Cedar Rapids police have a new device to test the tint on car and truck windows, and they’re cracking down on drivers who’re breaking the law. Under state law, at least 70 percent of outside light must be able to pass through the windshield and the front side windows, or the vehicle’s driver may be ticketed.
Cedar Rapids police lieutenant Chuck Mincks says it’s a safety issue. “The human eye acts very much like a lens on a camera,” Mincks says. “The darker the window is, the harder it is to focus and see clearly.” Cedar Rapids police now have a special meter which fits over a vehicle’s window to measure whether the tint is too dark.
“If you see cars out driving around on the state where you can’t see in the driver’s window, you know they’re too dark,” Mincks says.
The ticket for having a too-darkly-tinted car or truck window is 50 dollars. Scott Hendricks, the manager of a shop in Cedar Rapids that does tint vehicle windows, says it doesn’t take much to violate the law.
“Seventy percent is about as dark as a piece of Saran wrap, unfortunately,” Hendrickson says. When a car leaves the manufacturer, that’s usually the amount of tint on the windows. The tint restriction in Iowa does not apply to the back windows of a vehicle, so you can shade any back windows as dark as you want, but keep in mind the rules are different in every state and you could be ticketed if you’re caught with the dark rear window in another state.