Police Commissioner Peter Marshall has called for tighter controls over the use of the dark-tinted windows in vehicles.Commissioner Marshall said today he believed that the disadvantages of full dark or mirror tinted car windows far outweighed any perceived benefits.
"From a policing point of view, from a public safety point of view I don't see any advantages in having tinted windows. They can actually create fear and possible dangers," he said.
"People with weapons or who are involved in illegal activities such as the black market trade or prostitution, hide behind them."
"From a road safety perspective, it is much harder for all drivers to have clear vision of the traffic ahead or vehicles traveling behind."
Commissioner Marshall said he was very surprised at the large number of vehicles in Honiara which have dark tinted windows on the front, back and sides.
"Lighter tints are available to offer some shade, but I would like to see a ban on dark tinted windows to be considered in consultation with the wider community, business and Government."
Commissioner Marshall said Police officers stopping and inspecting vehicles with tinted windows could not immediately see who or what was inside, including weapons or stolen goods.
"Police have to be very cautious when approaching these vehicles," he said.
"If there was a problem of any abduction, someone being held in a car against their will, the Police and other members of the public would not able to see them...or if someone was being assaulted, they have no way to signal to anyone for help."
"Lots of people fear getting into taxis with dark tinted windows all around because they cannot see inside," Commissioner Marshall said.
Commissioner Marshall said one option would be that when private vehicles were inspected for a licensing check and had dark tinted windows reducing the driver's visibility, they would fail and could not be insured.
"From a Police point of view I would like to see the law changed," he said.