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About-face on tinted windows

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Phuket’s top traffic policeman, Pol Lt Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen, has responded with resignation to yesterday’s announcement in Bangkok that a new law barring heavily tinted windows in vehicles will not be enforced for at least a year. “So what can I do?” said Lt Col Teeraphol. “I don’t make law. I enforce it. So it will be another year [before I can arrest anyone].” The new traffic law, initially supposed to have taken effect next Tuesday, requires that window tints allow at least 40% of light to pass through the glass. “Personally, I think that if the tint is too dark, then it is no good,” Lt Col Teeraphol told the Gazette. “I don’t know about 40% or whatever, but it has to be at a proper level where there is a balance between safety and practicality. Where that is, I don’t know. We should have an expert who can tell. “So for the time being, we’ll just have to wait. It would be good if we had the equipment to check the level of the tint. But we don’t, so we cannot set up a place where people can bring their cars to check whether they have to change the tint. “Over the next year, [the lawmakers] should do some serious research into ways to get the public to really understand why we have to have such a law. The government should use this year to come up with ready answers to all objections.” There already seems to be heavy support for the law in Bangkok, at least. An ABAC-KSC poll of 1,279 people, conducted in the capital between May 25 and 27, found that 66.3% agreed with the tinted window law, while 28.1% disagreed, and 5.6% had no comment. Those who said they disagreed were then asked why. Some said it was the cost of re-tinting. Others said they preferred a heavy tint for reasons of personal security. Still others pointed out that Thailand is hot, so lightly tinted windows would result in the vehicle’s air-conditioner having to work harder. In Phuket, another reason for rejecting the law was given to the Gazette by a woman driver. “[Too much light] is bad for my skin. It makes my skin dark and not beautiful,” she said. The Gazette has no doubt that this viewpoint, too, will be taken into serious consideration by the lawmakers.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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