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Jun 30, 2011

Un-tint my ride; last day before law comes into the light

The law banning certain grades of tint on vehicles comes into effect at midnight tonight. So if you have fifty percent tint on the windshield and front windows and twenty-five percent on the rare windows, you are fine. If you have below twenty percent, however, you are bound to be in trouble with the law. News Five’s Isani Cayetano captured the last minute rush to de-tint and re-tint vehicles.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The law banning certain grades of tint on vehicles comes into effect at midnight tonight. The prohibition of exceptionally dark tints on both the windows and windshields of all motor vehicles was scheduled to come into effect a month ago.  The ban on opaque shades is part of an effort by government to discourage the commission of crime; however, motorists have been allowed a month long grace period to comply with acceptable grades of tint.  Today we visited Glass Technology on Freetown Road where its proprietors, brothers Errol and Oswald Garbutt, were busy removing and replacing the dark colored hues from a number of vehicles.

Errol Garbutt Jr.

Errol Garbutt Jr.

“I mi think when dehn say June first ah think dah mi it but this dah it now.  This dah it now.  This da really di crunch time now.”

Isani Cayetano

“One of the burning questions [is] have there been any government officials who have left their vehicles to be tinted to the appropriate standard?”

Errol Garbutt Jr.

“Yeah.  Definite, the government workers are coming in, bringing their government vehicles in, changing their tints, dark tints are coming off.  We do a couple of them already [and] they’re taking it off.”

While the acceptable standard has been set at fifty percent by the Transport Department a look around Belize City clearly shows that a number of vehicles, including driven by a few government officials, remain in contravention of the recently passed law.  In early May Prime Minister Barrow told News Five that Cabinet ministers would not be exempted.

Dean Barrow [File: May 11th, 2011]

Dean Barrow


“I dont believe in tinting.  No but there can be no exceptions.  Perhaps the police, I dont know whether, or the military whether they might be able to make some kind of a case but regular politicians, regular GOB officials, regular municipal body officials absolutely not.  The law must apply to them with equal force, equal rigor.

Jose Sanchez

“Will this be implemented by police as well as Traffic [Department]?”

Dean Barrow

Yes.  Thats the whole idea that, remember we had talked earlier about trying to ensure that the police deal as well with quality of life offences.  I am not sure that this is under that broad heading but the notion that the police should cast their net as widely as possible is very much one that we believe in and so they will be expected to help with the enforcement of the regulations too.

Ray Kelly

Surprisingly while the passage of a new law has been met with criticism from the public there are those among them who agree that tinting has to be regulated.

Ray Kelly, Motorist

“I think it’s a great idea as far as the removal of tints off the vehicles because me personally I’m here at this body shop getting my vehicle removed.  I just came back from getting my vehicle inspected.  [It’s] a long line over there [and] the guys did a great job from the Traffic Department but I believe that for the safety of the Traffic Department, the safety of the officers that’s out there enforcing the law because with the dark tint a lot of dangers lurk in the dark.  A lot of things happen.  I can maybe speak at the checkpoint when you have dark tints on your window [and] you pull up to the checkpoint the officer is going to check your vehicle and for identification purposes the person might have a weapon inside the vehicle and it’s dark.  The dark tints conceal the weapon and subsequently the officers are at risk.”

Matthew Castillo

Sixteen year old Matthew Castillo is overseeing the tinting of this vehicle.  It is one of four he has brought in today.  He supports the new law despite admitting that crimes aren’t committed in darkly tinted vehicles.

Matthew Castillo, Motorist

“I noh have no problem with di law, basically that mek dehn lower di tint pan di vehicle because most ah di tints pan di vehicles ridiculous like di three percent and five percent.  But like for example like my truck weh I have twenty percent in di front and like ten percent in di back which you could see through di front.  Like most vehicles you could see through it and di law say that dehn wahn see through it but fi tek it off and put fifty percent which da zero tint and eena Belize weh ih hot and di sun could burn yo I think ih ridiculous.”

The last time we visited Glass Technology there was a scarcity in the fifty percent tints.  Since then Garbutt has ordered more but the demand is a bit overwhelming.

Errol Garbutt Jr.

“That demand with the fifty percent I have to step up a little bit more with the orders for the tint and we get in the fifty percent.  You know the fifty percent [and the] twenty percent so that comes in very handy with the shipment of the tints, you know from the States.”

The ban on tints will take effect on July first and those who are noncompliant can expect to be fined by the Traffic Department. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “Un-tint my ride; last day before law comes into the light”

  1. belizeanpride says:

    this is what will cause barrow alot of my family votes noll for being stupid, look at the statistics, man the kill man on bikes not cars and the main situations that he should work like hanging and national security he is not even mentioning at this level. this is a way of bringing revenues so easily for his scum political party. i rather keep my glass clear, buy my son of a gun for the interior protection and car seat cover but never give him a $500.00 at all, so suck it up barrow none for you from my pocket.
    i personally won’t vote for red nor blue i’m sick of the two parties promising, screwing up the country after they enter gov. offices.

  2. c says:

    the GOB should have started the anti-crime measure with bicycles not cars… most of the time you hear about “ride-bys”… this is gonna increase the crimes *breaking-in cars” not reduce s***t

  3. Shawn says:

    It’s about time government did this! It’s ridiculous to have a 5% tint. You can’t even see through your rearview window with that sorta tint and a higher chance of running a child over. The sun will still protect you with a 50% tint. People in Belize are too worried about the wrong things. SMH. It’s a way to prevent crime. Key word here PREVENT. Way to go!

  4. I Have Awaken says:

    Have the PUP said anything on this law? I don’t recollect hearing anything, but this new law is sure to cost Belizeans in the millions for if you multiply every single vehicle/person that invested in tinting their vehicles for security, heat and privacy purpose and multiply by the amount of vehicles in the country you are sure to be in the millions; this is just another lost investment for Belizeans, another blow to our pockets, with not one serious strategy to deal with crime, cost of living, national security corruption, energy dependence, telecommunications reduction costs to be more competitive etc etc etc.

  5. James Bond says:

    if this law passed the next movement is ganna be cant have curtains in your house, cant wear sun shades and cap when you are walking on the street, or maybe women cant put make up when they are shopping. ok, what is public interest? cant we vote? cant we decide for ourself?

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