Why Rwanda’s ban on tinted car-windows

Many think it is luxurious to tint car windows however, the reason are not controversial except in Rwanda. The recent ban on tinted car windows has left a lot of argument among peers.  Alex Byarugaba once had such a car and his experience with he says is a memory not to feed out of his mind.
New cars are exhibited
New cars are exhibited

Many think it is luxurious to tint car windows however, the reason are not controversial except in Rwanda. The recent ban on tinted car windows has left a lot of argument among peers. 

Alex Byarugaba once had such a car and his experience with he says is a memory not to feed out of his mind.

 “A tinted car does not absorb heat and so it is always cool and convenient while driving long distances when it’s hot,” Byarugaba said.

He explains that based on the car`s resistance to heat, the car insides which are soft or plastic made are protected from cracks and last longer, hence reduces repair costs.

Byarugaba had to remove the tint from his car since August, 2010 when Rwanda’s Traffic Police banned tinted car windows.

Traffic Police Chief Superintendent, Vicent Sano, says the decision was a result of wrong people using such cars to engage in unlawful acts.

“In the past, we registered many criminal cases in which these cars were used as means through which some people engaged in unlawful activities,” Sano said.

“This forced top authorities to come up with this decision so as to prevent such cases.”

Currently, police is enforcing the law through conducting regular operations on the roads.

“Car owners with locally made tint have been instructed to remove it so as to abide by the law,” he said.

 “We are looking forward to negotiating with concerned parties to stop the importation of cars with original window tint,” he added.

In Rwanda, 95 percent of cars are locally tinted windows while five percent are imported with original tint.

Moses Mugisha, a mechanic operating at Gatsata in Nyabugogo says it is unfortunate that advantages of a tinted car can no longer be enjoyed.

“Window tinting also improves the performance of the air conditioner which lowers engine fuel consumption,” Mugisha said.

As car owners had to incur costs, it was all good news that the mechanic had to earn more cash.

“The costs of removing tint from the windows depend on the size of the car,” he said. “It cost Rwf20,000 for small or medium car windows and Rwf30,000 or more for larger vehicles.”

These prices were negotiable.  

The mechanic pointed out that although some advantages shall be missed, “it’s ‘game over’ for those traffic defaulters who run away from the police.”

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