Written by Gregory Monte.
A friend of my son’s was issued SIX separate tickets because a Pennsylvania State Police Officer said that the tinting on all of his car windows registered below the 70% mark according to his hand-held meter. The statute this individual allegedly violated was Title 75, Section 4524(e)(1) – Sun screening and other materials prohibited.
Why is 70% considered the “magic” number when it comes to window tinting? It comes from a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Fact Sheet which many police officers use as a reference when they issue this type of ticket. According to this document:
“… vehicle owners who have window tint materials that exceed the light transmittance requirements indicated below [70%] may be stopped and cited while operating their vehicle on the highway.”
The only problem with this “Fact” Sheet is that it doesn’t actually jive with the statute about “sun screening”. The statute doesn’t mention 70% at all. It only prohibits:
“… sun screening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side wing or side window of the vehicle.”
But don’t just take my word for it, consider the opinion in Commonwealth v. Brubaker (Superior Court, 2010):
“Despite Officer Pryor’s and the trial court’s focus upon light meter readings, the language of the statute does not prohibit a person from driving a motor vehicle which possesses sun screening material that “reduces the transmittance of light to below 70%.” Just as importantly, the statute also does not prohibit a person from driving a motor vehicle which possesses sun screening material that reduces the transmittance of light to below a standard to be determined and published by PennDOT.”
I started my website Stop-Sign-Ticket.Com after my son received an unfair stop sign ticket. I spent 3 months researching a way to fight it, and was able to successfully have his ticket dismissed. Since then, I have been researching ways to fight all traffic tickets in Pennsylvania, and intend to do the same for each and every state.
If you received a ticket for tinted windows, use this information to win your case. And check back often because I will continue to publish traffic ticket advice.