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Technician fined for customer car

A UK retailer has successfully challenged a fine issued by police to a technician who was test driving a customer’s car that had illegally tinted windows.

David Crisp, aftersales manager at Newton Motors in Cwmbran, South Wales, tells AM: “One of my technicians had a customer’s car on which he had just changed the wheels.

“When he was out test driving it he was pulled over by the police who tested the tint of the front windows. They were found to be too dark and he was given a ticket for £30.”

According to the law, a vehicle’s windscreen must let in at least 75% of outside light, while front windows must let in at least 70%. It is the driver’s, not the owner’s, responsibility to ensure that this is adhered to.

Currently the MoT test does not cover tinted windows. VOSA states this is because “to include the item in the MoT test would require all 18,000 garages to incur expenditure on special test equipment… the extra cost would affect all motorists, all for a small number of vehicles”.

Crisp sent a letter to his local police force explaining the situation, which resulted in the fine being refunded.

He says: “It seems to me like it’s a bit of a stealth practice. We don’t have the equipment to test how tinted a window is and it is impossible to tell using the naked eye. Perhaps our fine being refunded sets a precedent for our industry.”

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