Tinted windows policy change will keep taxi passengers cool
Government is allowing for darker rear windows on taxis, which will cut down on air conditioning and allow more privacy for passengers.
Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell said the policy switch would allow the back windows on taxis, mini buses and limousines to have tint levels of no less than 24 percent — stronger than the current allowance of no less than 30 percent. Tinting for the front windows will remain the same.
The move came about in response to the importation of the Toyota Alphard for taxis between 2004 and 2008, Mr Crockwell said that after four years it was discovered that the vehicles had factory tint stronger than that allowed by law.
“In 2008, the Transport Control Department advised the dealer that although the vehicles had been granted approval for licensing several years prior, no additional Toyota Alphards would be permitted to be imported, since the model was not in compliance with the Motor Car Regulations.”
That model currently accounts for one fifth of the Island's licensed taxis, or 104 vehicles — but its original tint levels were six percent over the limit.
Mr Crockwell said the tinting conferred some advantages on Alphard owners. The darker windows were popular with visitors seeking extra privacy, but when other drivers tinted their windows to the same level they had to remove it when they came to get licensed.
Darker tinting cuts glare and results in less fuel being used for air conditioning.
The new policy comes into effect on April 1.