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A Blackened-Out View

The Santa Barbara Police Department is doing a poor job at enforcing the statewide law against darkly tinted front windows on vehicles. Every day I see countless cars and trucks with illegally blackened out driver, passenger, and windshield windows. Drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists need to be able to see each other to be safe. It would be far easier to drive drunk or high on drugs or do other illegal things behind such dark windows (which is probably one of the reasons for the law and one of the reasons so many people want blackened out windows). People can’t be allowed to think they’re “too cool” to be seen — every one of us has the right to be safe.

The Santa Barbara Police Department needs to know that allowing such law-breaking activities undermines their credibility in a big way. When rules get broken so obviously and ignored or inefficiently enforced by authorities we all suffer. We see that some people can break the law and get away with it. Also, this would have to go down as one of the easiest laws to enforce. Perhaps the fines and fix-it tickets need to be significantly stiffer, but heavy and consistent enforcement is at least the start. This is a solvable problem.

We need safer roads and the SBPD needs to do a far better job of making this happen for everyone’s sake. Lives depend on it and we expect civility on the road.

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