There were quite some comments on Saturday’s news that effective January 1 cars are prohibited from using French-side roads if the transparency of tint on the driver’s and front seat passenger’s windows is less than 70 per cent. Some said the sun is simply too strong on the island for such a law, prompting others to suggest staying on the Dutch side.

However, basically the same restriction already applied in St. Maarten, except that the fine for violations is not 135 euros but rather 100 Antillean guilders. What may have helped create the perception that this rule doesn’t exist South of the border was the apparent lack of active enforcement over the years.

The latter has changed a bit of late, also because the police received new devices to measure the tint. As both sides of the island now have a similar situation, there is no longer any excuse to continue driving around with excessively darkened windows.

Motorists are hereby warned and should keep in mind that local authorities need visibility into vehicles to effectively fight illegality. The same persons who now complained probably do want crime suspects on the loose to be captured as soon as possible.

Sure, the heat inside especially a closed car can become very annoying and even unhealthy. People could instead try to park in the shade, use screens or leave windows open at a small crack to alleviate the problem.

Ultimately, public safety and security must at all times be given priority over individual comfort. The same goes for controls against driving under the influence, which obviously directly endangers the lives of others.

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