Police cannot remove tint without certifying officer present – Traffic Chief
By Isanella Patoir
The police cannot remove the tint from a motor vehicle without a licensed certifying officer verifying that said tint is against the prescribed 65 per cent limit.
This point was made clear by Traffic Chief Senior Superintendent Ramesh Ashram who told the News Room on Tuesday that there is a process that follows tint removal.
But what exactly is that process? Firstly, once the police pull over a driver for suspected tint, they can instruct them to go to the police station where there is supposed to be a certifying (gazetted) officer who will examine the vehicle.
Secondly, that certifying officer will then test the tint with a certified meter and if it is found that the tint is not the prescribed limit, the driver will be asked to remove the tint and can be released with a warning; the worst-case scenario is that the case goes to the court and the driver is charged.
The Traffic Chief said that the penalty is dependent on the court.
“If the ordinary police on the road stop a vehicle with tint and they realise or suspect that the tint is not in compliance with the 65 per cent, the right thing to do is that they should have the certifying officer to examine the vehicle,” the Traffic Chief emphasised.
The senior cop, however, underscored that tint on the front windscreens is not catered for in a tint permit, and so, the police have every right to instruct drivers to remove these tints from their vehicles.
“Even though you get tint permit, you cannot carry tint on the front windscreen, you can only carry the six-inch visor at the top,” the Traffic Chief explained.
INSPECTOR HUMPHREY IS ON A ‘TINT CAMPAIGN’
Recently, the police in Regional Division Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) has been cracking down on drivers found above the prescribed tint limit.
The issue recently came to the fore after a senior cop, Inspector Humphrey, recently captured drivers on camera and instructed them to remove the heavy tint from their vehicles.
These videos were widely circulated on social media and the incidents occurred mostly across the western end of the Demerara Harbour Bridge.
When asked about this particular case, the Traffic Chief said, “If he (Inspector Humphrey) is not a licensed certifying officer and he stop a vehicle with tint, the right thing to do is to get the certifying officer to examine the vehicle.”
When asked if Inspector Humphrey is a certifying officer, the Traffic Chief responded: “I cannot say off-hand, but I doubt whether he is a certifying officer and he is not a traffic rank, he is a general-duty rank.”
Meanwhile, Inspector Humphrey, during an interview with the Guyana Police Force’s ‘Traffic and You’ programme said there is now a 24-hour campaign to rid the region of tinted vehicles.
Inspector Humphrey explained if the police are unable to see the driver and occupants of a vehicle, the vehicle will be stopped.
“We [will] focus our attention on those who may want to come into the region which is Region Number Three and to perpetrate crime and leave.
“So, we are at the western end of the Demerara Harbour Bridge where we can do enforcement and we can detect or deter crime in the region through these heavily tinted vehicles that traverse our roadways,” Inspector Humphrey stated.
Inspector Humphrey said he has embarked on this “educational” campaign because he wants persons to feel safe in the region.
For years, the police have been cracking down on tinted vehicles but there have been concerns about persons who are allowed to violate these rules. There is also the issue of persons bribing traffic officers to avoid being charged.
With the heavy flow of traffic in Region Three, especially in the morning and afternoon hours, the police presence at the western end of the Demerara Harbour Bridge will continue.
Meanwhile, the police in Region Three will also be campaigning on the “fancy” white lights at the front of vehicles.
“Based on what you would learn doing the theoretical part of traffic exam, you learn that whenever you driving, you have to drive with the low beam and when the place is clear you can put on your high beam,” Inspector Humphrey said.
Additionally, the police in the region will be conducting random stop and search operations.