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46.37.425  <<  46.37.430 >>   46.37.435

RCW 46.37.430

Safety glazing — Sunscreening or coloring.

(1)(a) No person may sell any motor vehicle as specified in this title, nor may any motor vehicle as specified in this title be registered unless such vehicle is equipped with safety glazing material of a type that meets or exceeds federal standards under 49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.205.

     (b) The foregoing provisions apply to all passenger-type motor vehicles, including passenger buses and school buses, but in respect to trucks, including truck tractors, the requirements as to safety glazing material apply to all glazing material used in doors, windows, and windshields in the drivers' compartments of such vehicles except as provided by subsection (4) of this section.

     (c) The safety glazing material that is manufactured and installed in accordance with federal standards shall not be etched or otherwise permanently altered if the safety glazing material is installed in the windshield or any other window located in the motor vehicle passenger compartment, except for the etching of the vehicle identification number if:

     (i) The maximum height of the letters or numbers do not exceed one-half inch; and

     (ii) The etched vehicle identification number is not located in a position that interferes with the vision of any occupant of the motor vehicle.

     (2) For the purposes of this section:

     (a) "Light transmission" means the ratio of the amount of total visible light, expressed in percentages, that is allowed to pass through the sunscreening or coloring material to the amount of total visible light falling on the motor vehicle window.

     (b) "Net film screening" means the total sunscreening or coloring material applied to the window that includes both the material applied by the manufacturer during the safety glazing and any film sunscreening or coloring material applied after the vehicle is manufactured.

     (c) "Reflectance" means the ratio of the amount of total light, expressed in percentages, that is reflected outward by the sunscreening or coloring material to the amount of total light falling on the motor vehicle window.

     (d) "Safety glazing materials" means glazing materials so constructed, treated, or combined with other materials as to reduce substantially, in comparison with ordinary sheet glass or plate glass, the likelihood of injury to persons by objects from exterior sources or by these safety glazing materials when they may be cracked or broken.

     (3) The director of licensing shall not register any motor vehicle which is subject to the provisions of this section unless it is equipped with an approved type of safety glazing material, and he or she shall suspend the registration of any motor vehicle so subject to this section which the director finds is not so equipped until it is made to conform to the requirements of this section.

     (4) No person may sell or offer for sale, nor may any person operate a motor vehicle registered in this state which is equipped with, any camper manufactured after May 23, 1969, unless such camper is equipped with safety glazing material of a type conforming to rules adopted under 49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.205 wherever glazing materials are used in outside windows and doors.

     (5) No film sunscreening or coloring material that reduces light transmittance to any degree may be applied to the surface of the safety glazing material in a motor vehicle unless it meets the following standards for such material:

     (a) The maximum level of net film sunscreening to be applied to any window, except the windshield, shall have a total reflectance of thirty-five percent or less, and a light transmission of twenty-four percent or more, where the vehicle is equipped with outside rearview mirrors on both the right and left. Installation of more than a single sheet of film sunscreening material to any window is prohibited.

     (b) Hearses, collector vehicles, limousines and passenger buses used to transport persons for compensation, ambulances, rescue squad vehicles, any other emergency medical vehicle licensed under RCW 18.73.130 that is used to transport patients, and any vehicle identified by the manufacturer as a truck, motor home, or multipurpose passenger vehicle as defined in 49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.3, may have net film sunscreening applied on any window to the rear of the driver that has less than twenty-four percent light transmittance, if the light reflectance is thirty-five percent or less and the vehicle is equipped with outside rearview mirrors on both the right and left.

     (c) A person or business tinting windows for profit who tints windows within restricted areas of the glazing system shall supply a sticker to be affixed to the driver's door post, in the area adjacent to the manufacturer's identification tag. Installation of this sticker certifies that the glazing application meets this chapter's standards for light transmission, reflectance, and placement requirements. Stickers must be no smaller than three-quarters of an inch by one and one-half inches, and no larger than two inches by two and one-half inches. The stickers must be of sufficient quality to endure exposure to harsh climate conditions. The business name and state tax identification number of the installer must be clearly visible on the sticker.

     (d) A greater degree of light reduction is permitted on all windows and the top six inches of windshields of a vehicle operated by or carrying as a passenger a person who possesses a written verification from a licensed physician that the operator or passenger must be protected from exposure to sunlight for physical or medical reasons.

     (e) A greater degree of light reduction is permitted along the top edge of the windshield as long as the product is transparent and does not extend into the AS-1 portion of the windshield or extend more than six inches from the top of the windshield. Clear film sunscreening material that reduces or eliminates ultraviolet light may be applied to windshields.

     (f) When film sunscreening material is applied to any window except the windshield, outside mirrors on both the left and right sides shall be located so as to reflect to the driver a view of the roadway, through each mirror, a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear of the vehicle.

     (g) The following types of film sunscreening material are not permitted:

     (i) Mirror finish products;

     (ii) Red, gold, yellow, or black material; or

     (iii) Film sunscreening material that is in liquid preapplication form and brushed or sprayed on.

     (6) Subsection (5) of this section does not prohibit:

     (a) The use of shaded or heat-absorbing safety glazing material in which the shading or heat-absorbing characteristics have been applied at the time of manufacture of the safety glazing material and which meet federal standards for such safety glazing materials.

     (b) The use and placement of federal, state, or local certificates or decals on any window as required by applicable laws or regulations. However, any such certificate or decal must be of a size and placed on the motor vehicle so as not to impair the ability of the driver to safely operate the motor vehicle.

     (c) Sunscreening devices to be applied to any window behind the driver provided that the devices reduce the driver's area of vision uniformly and by no more than fifty percent, as measured on a horizontal plane. If sunscreening devices are applied to the rear window, the vehicle must be equipped with outside rearview mirrors on both the left and right.

     (d) Recreational products, such as toys, cartoon characters, stuffed animals, signs, and any other vision-reducing article or material to be applied to or placed in windows behind the driver provided that they do not interfere, in their size or position, with the driver's ability to see other vehicles, persons, or objects.

     (7) It is a traffic infraction for any person to operate a vehicle for use on the public highways of this state, if the vehicle is equipped with film sunscreening or coloring material in violation of this section.

     (8) Owners of vehicles with film sunscreening material applied to windows to the rear of the driver, prior to June 7, 1990, must comply with the requirements of this section and RCW 46.37.435 by July 1, 1993.

     (9) The side and rear windows of law enforcement vehicles are exempt from the requirements of subsection (5) of this section. However, when law enforcement vehicles are sold to private individuals the film sunscreening or coloring material must comply with the requirements of subsection (5) of this section or documentation must be provided to the buyer stating that the vehicle windows must comply with the requirements of subsection (5) of this section before operation of the vehicle.

[2009 c 142 § 1; 2007 c 168 § 1; 1993 c 384 § 1; 1990 c 95 § 1; 1989 c 210 § 1; 1987 c 330 § 723; 1986 c 113 § 5; 1985 c 304 § 1; 1979 c 158 § 157; 1969 ex.s. c 281 § 47; 1961 c 12 § 46.37.430. Prior: 1955 c 269 § 43; prior: 1947 c 220 § 1; 1937 c 189 § 40; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 6360-40; RCW 46.36.090.]

Notes:

     Construction -- Application of rules -- Severability -- 1987 c 330: See notes following RCW 28B.12.050.