Hawaii board to reconsider tinted window towing proposal

HILO — Hawaii County Council members are reconsidering a bill that would give police the power to tow vehicles with overly tinted windows, officials said.

Some council members have had second thoughts about the bill approved 8-1 in a first reading last month, West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday.

The proposal adds a towing option when police believe windows are tinted darker than allowed by law.

The bill sponsored by Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy is scheduled for another hearing Wednesday.

Federal and state laws mandate windshields and windows required for driver visibility allow in more than 70% light. Rear and rear side windows in Hawaii can be darker, allowing in more than 35% light. Fines for violations range from $250 to $500

Darkly tinted windows create hazards for officers, as well as for pedestrians and bicyclists who cannot make eye contact with drivers while crossing streets, Lee Loy said.

“One of the letters of support call out a specific event in which we lost an officer. So if there’s any compassion on this dais right now, I’d like to hear it. Because I am trying to keep more than our officers safe,” she said.

Some council members who initially supported the bill said they have heard from constituents worried about the cost of retrieving towed vehicles and police overreach.

“I have serious reservations about providing that power,” Councilwoman Rebecca Villegas said. “I think this has the potential to cause more conflict.”

Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder also questioned leaving towing to police discretion.

“It does open a door to allow for officers to make decisions based on character of the driver,” Kanealii-Kleinfelder said.


Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

  1. manongindashadow0711 June 19, 2019 4:26 pm Reply

    The tints poses an accident waiting to happen and takes away from an officers safety. ( A person(s) could be pointing a gun and the officer wouldn’t know.)

  2. Jay wizengy June 26, 2020 2:33 pm Reply

    I would agree to this only if the police reimburse the owner for all towing, storage, other fees, lost wages or other costs and rental car costs if the tinting is found to be within legal limits. Otherwise, this rule will be used to punish drivers who make the officer upset for any reason or no reason at all. ” I think the tint is too dark! Your windows do not have any tint? Too bad but you still pay $500 and nothing happens to me.”

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