Pulled by Police

I got pulled over by a traffic police car on the way home the other day in the 109:“Do you know why we stopped you, Sir?”


Now, call me daft, but if I had reason to think I was doing something that would get me pulled over, then I would stop whatever it was all by myself, being a big boy and all…

“No, I don’t.”  I replied cautiously.  Not a good idea to wind the police up, even though the sentence “You thought this was a doughnut van?” was screaming in the front of my mind.  A civil conversation with one of the officers followed, who turned out to be under training and thus a little over zealous.  The other was looking around the vehicle and making radio calls and computer checks, as they do.  It transpired, from the senior policeman, that they had pulled me over because my front door windows appeared too dark and then started quizzing me over the age of the vehicle and its date of first registration, disappearing back to their vehicle to make checks on the answer, having remarked that the “index number”, aka number plate, was inconsistent with the condition of the vehicle.  I think the reality is that they thought I had dodgy plates and used the windows as an excuse.

They were soon satisfied about the registration, but checks with a transmissometer (a calibrated tool that shines light through a fluid or solid to a receiver to measure its light transmission) showed the windows were actually enough out of legal limits to be an issue.  Still, they could see by the general condition of the vehicle, the extra lighting and reflective tapes, and the two warning triangles, two extinguishers, numerous brand new wrapped hi-vis jackets and other safety equipment clipped in various stowage positions inside that I’m not a careless yob, and accepted my explanation that I had been told by the window tinters that it was a legal level for the windows, just not the wind screen, and that it had been through seven MoTs like that.  After assuring them that the film would be removed at the earliest opportunity, they were content to let me on my way without any penalty, paperwork or even warning.

So, I spent an hour or so this afternoon with some razor blades and WD40 removing the film from the offending windows.  It’s not a fun job because the glue is a swine to get off, and the door cards had to be removed to do the job tidily and properly, but it’s done.  I could have taken a punt that it was very unlikely that I’ get pulled again – it took six years to be picked up – but if it has been entered in their systems or if I had an accident that could be attributed to poor visibility (and in practical terms, visibility through these windows was actually barely affected), it would have created all sorts of problems, so it’s easiest just to play the game.  So, if you’re thinking of tinting front window glass, don’t –  you must have at least 75% transmission and light smoke (the lightest tint available) knocks it down to 35%.

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