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29 Nov 2021

Two motorists fined at Tullamore court for overly tinted windows in their cars

Two motorists fined at Tullamore court for overly tinted windows in their cars

Two motorists fined at Tullamore court for overly tinted windows in their cars

Two Offaly motorists have been fined for having overly tinted windows in their cars.

A man accused of careless driving came before last week’s sitting of Tullamore District Court.

Colin Robert Gethings (24), Kilcooney, Geashill, was driving with tinted windows which obscured his view at Ballina Cross, Tullamore on February 6 last when he was stopped by Garda Patrick McGee. His solicitor Donal Farrelly said Mr Gethings drove for a living and was very distressed.

Judge Staines asked him why he had tinted windows, did he think it was “cool”. She told him that they impair your vision and fined him €80.

According to the Road Safety Authority, "under roadworthiness testing laws, a vehicle’s windscreen, and front side windows must have a light transmission or transparency level of at least 65% to pass the test. Under the Irish road traffic regulations, the driver must always have a view to the front and side of the vehicle necessary to enable them to drive safely. An Garda Síochána currently have equipment to test the transparency level of windows at roadside checks. If a vehicle is found to have excessively tinted windows, both the owner and driver can be charged."

In a separate incident, a woman who appeared in Tullamore district court on a summons for careless driving had tinted windows which obstructed her view, the local district court heard last week.

Leanne Leonard, Mohia Lane, Killurin, Tullamore, had only 25% vision from the side window of the driver and passenger side of her car when she was stopped by Garda Patrick McGee at Cormac Street, Tullamore, on February 21 last. The legislation states that you must have 65% vision.

Garda McGee handed Judge Catherine Staines a copy of the legislation.

In his evidence in the witness stand Garda McGee said he wouldn’t allow Ms Leonard to drive away and she took off the tint. When she removed it the visibility went up to 74.9%.

Her solicitor Donal Farrelly said his client was a 22 year old woman who worked as an attendant at the hospital. She had just bought the vehicle.

Garda McGee said that according to the Road Safety Authority driving with tinted windows represents a serious safety hazard especially at night and in low light. Also according to the regulations the defendant cannot be said to be driving with due care if her vision is impaired at 10.20pm at night.

Judge Catherine Staines said she accepted that it could amount to careless driving.

She told Ms Leonard that it was most important to see properly through the side windows as there may be someone coming behind and she might not see them in the wing mirror.

She fined the defendant €80.

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