N.S. RCMP note increase in illegal window tint, licence plate covers

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N.S. RCMP say they regularly pull over people who don't know window tinting products are illegal in the province. (Jane Robertson/CBC - image credit)
N.S. RCMP say they regularly pull over people who don't know window tinting products are illegal in the province. (Jane Robertson/CBC - image credit)

RCMP in Nova Scotia are noticing a high number of vehicles with illegally tinted windows or store-bought licence plate covers.

They say most drivers aren't aware the modifications are illegal in the province.

The RCMP have already ticketed 106 people across the province for infractions so far this year. The number was 257 last year, up from 183 in 2020.

There were 181 tickets issued in 2019.

Vehicle window tint is a type of film that shades the driver from the sun and can also decrease visibility.

In Nova Scotia, it is prohibited to use on the driver's side and passenger's side windows as well as on windshields..

But the RCMP say they regularly pull over people who don't know the regulations.

"Police have routinely handed out warnings to drivers who are often unaware of the provincial regulations as part of our education approach to safe driving. However, we continue to see a high number of vehicles that are not in compliance," Nova Scotia RCMP say in a press release.

Fine is $237.50

Const. Mike Francis with Northeast RCMP Traffic Services in North Sydney said many drivers use tint on their windows or have licence plate covers because of how they appear.

But Francis said it may not be worth the $237.50 fine.

Francis said the RCMP ticket about a dozen people a month across the province for these violations.

Francis said there are a number of reasons why these products are illegal. Most concern driver safety.

He said vehicle's windows are also difficult to smash in the event of an accident.

"If you were trapped in your vehicle, we would go up and use a punch and we would just smash a window within a matter of seconds," said Francis, who said that can't be done with a tinted film covering a window.

Know the rules

One reason for the ongoing issue could be travel between provinces.

"Here in Atlantic Canada … New Brunswick is the only province that really allows any amount of tint on a windshield, but the other three do not. And that's pretty clear in the law," said Steve Olmstead of of the Canadian Automobile Association.

Olmstead said drivers can avoid a problem by knowing what the rules are in each province before entering.

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