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Road safety: France bans tinted car windows

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Road safety: France bans tinted car windows
From January, tinting will only be allowed in vehicles' rear windows. Photo: BFM TV
10:07 CET+01:00
France continues to roll out more laws in a bid to make driving safer, with tinted windows to be banned in French cars from the New Year. Drivers caught flouting the law will face a €135 fine.

Following publication of the number of deaths in road accidents in 2014, the French government has moved to ramp up its car safety rules. 

Over the last year, numerous new rules and regulations have been introduced aimed at improving road safety.

In October, the government announced several hundred more speed cameras would be installed and that came after a separate raft of laws saw the lowering of the legal blood alcohol level for young people and the banning of hands-free kits and earpieces at the wheel.

The latest target of the government's crackdown are tinted windows in the front seats of cars, which will no longer be allowed from January 2016.

While some say tinted windows offer more privacy and some kind of shade from the sun, the government believes drivers use them to hide behind.

(Dominique Strauss-Kahn has ridden in a fair few cars with tinted windows. Photo: AFP)

Police have more difficulty spotting if someone is using a mobile phone at the wheel, driving without a seat belt - or even worse, if they might be armed.

They are also considered to restrict visibility and prevent cyclists and pedestrians from working out whether drivers have spotted them.

The new measures are set to be applied from January, after the Interior Minister files a decree with the State Council over the coming weeks.

In France, around 160,000 cars are fitted with opaque windows each year, and drivers of vehicles already fitted with the windows will have to have them taken out - a procedure which costs between €200 and €650.

Drivers who do not comply with the ban will face a fine of €135 as well as losing three points from their licence.

But the new law will put 1,800 jobs in the security industry under threat, according to Nicolas Guiselin, president of the Association of Security and Window Filtering (l'Association sécurité et filtration des films pour vitrage, or ASFFV).

He told Le Parisien that the new rule could see his takings cut in half.

The association was set to hold a press conference Tuesday morning to speak out against the ban.

Road security organisations, on the other hand, were pleased with the measure. The president of the League Against Road Violence, Chantal Perrichon, told Le Parisien that they were even seeking to extend the ban to vehicles' rear windows.

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