A CLAMPDOWN has led to cars with heavily tinted windows being banned from Huddersfield's roads.
Many of the tints added to windscreens and front side windows break the law. This means the vehicle has been illegally modified - which could invalidate the insurance.
Police stopped several cars in the town yesterday and they were checked out by vehicle experts.
Eight were found to be breaking the law. Most were immediately banned from the roads until they got the tints removed.
One was a £40,000 BMW X5.
Police and examiners from the Vehicle And Operator Services Agency (VOSA) - which is part of the Department Of Transport - say the tints are putting lives at risk.
Vehicle examiner Gareth Dodd said: "We have been enforcing the law since the start of May and I've already given out 100 prohibition notices."
VOSA examiners have machines which measure the percentage of light filtering through windows.
One car VOSA checked recently in Dewsbury allowed only 3% of light through the front side windows.
Mr Dodd said: "The driver admitted he had to wind the windows down at night to see out."
If cars are given an immediate prohibition notice and the motorist takes them back on to the road in the meantime they will be immediately arrested if stopped by the police.
Mr Dodd added: "We cannot understand why car dealers and garages are selling and fitting these tints without first testing the windows for the amount of light being allowed through. They can know the tint is legal only if they have tested it with a Tintman machine.
"Many drivers tell us the tints are all right because they were fitted professionally."
Pc Mark Dawson, of Huddersfield traffic police, said: "Tinted front windows and windscreens are potentially lethal, especially at night.
"They can especially restrict peripheral vision and eye contact with the driver is impossible."
During yesterday's checks, police stopped a 19-year-old woman and discovered she had been wanted on warrant since 2002 for driving without insurance. She was arrested.
Four motorists were also found to have incorrect driving licences and two of them had no insurance.
* Under the law, at least 70% of light must be allowed through front side windows and 75% through the windscreen.
* The law does not apply to rear passenger or back windows.
* If cars are given an immediate prohibition notice, the drivers must either take them home or to a garage - and then the cars cannot be driven again until the tints are removed and they have been checked once more by VOSA examiners.
* Most modern cars now already have tinted windows which let just over 70% of the light through.