June 20, 2023
As the automotive industry evolves, so must the regulations and testing procedures that ensure vehicles on our roads are safe and compliant. One area that has gained significant attention in recent years is tinted windows. With the growing prevalence of tinted windows, the subjective nature of the current tint testing method has become a concern. This blog post explores the need for a more objective and standardised approach to tint testing while considering various testing options and their implications.
In the 2023 government consultation on the future of the MOT, it became apparent that the Ministry of Transport (MoT) consider that the current tint testing method may no longer be suitable. The current test is subjective, relying on the tester’s assessment of whether the view to the front or side is “significantly affected”. As tinted windows have become increasingly popular, a more precise and objective test is needed to ensure consistent evaluation across different vehicles and testers.
Barry, the Managing Director of MOT Juice, recently trialled the TintTesta from Bowmonk, a device designed to measure the amount of light passing through tinted windows. This innovative solution provides a clear and quantifiable result, indicating whether the window tint meets the legal requirement. In the UK, front side windows must allow 70% or more light through, and the front windshield must allow 75% or more of light through. Holding the device up to the window provides a precise reading on light refraction, eliminating subjectivity from the test and bringing greater accuracy and consistency to tint testing.
While the TintTesta offers significant advantages, there are some logistical considerations. The cost of the device and its regular calibrations might be prohibitive to some MOT stations. Storage and maintenance are also considerations since longevity and reliability are essential when investing in new equipment. Digital devices like the TintTesta can be ‘connected’ devices. This allows data to be seamlessly transferred to the DVSA, further streamlining the testing process. If the DVSA were to roll out the TintTesta as a required bit of kit, it would make sense to roll out connected versions since the benefits are clear.
Apart from the TintTesta, the DVSA have suggested alternative methods for assessing window tints. Tint samples and Evo-film booklets, which show a range of tint transparencies, are options for tint testing. These samples, which are visually compared with the window, provide a cost-effective solution. However, they also rely on subjectivity, and while they are cheaper, they also require proper handling to prevent loss or damage. Tint Evo-film booklets provide a range of different tint levels to compare against the window, making it easy to be confident of a proper match, but they still rely on subjective judgment.
In light of the increasing prevalence of tinted windows, it is imperative to evolve the tint testing process to ensure consistency, accuracy, and compliance. While cost may concern the industry, the benefits of adopting more objective testing methods, such as the TintTesta, outweigh the initial investment. If the industry was to move to a digital solution like the TintTesta, calibration standards and maintenance protocols must be established to maintain accurate results. Exploring the possibility of making it a connected device transmitting data directly to the DVSA could revolutionise the tint testing process.
As the automotive industry embraces new technologies and trends, the testing procedures must adapt to ensure vehicles on our roads are safe and compliant. The DVSA and MOT providers see that the current tint testing methods are too subjective, leading to their search for more objective and standardised approaches. The TintTesta from Bowmonk offers a promising solution by accurately measuring the light passing through tinted windows. While alternative methods exist, their subjectivity may not adequately address the evolving needs of the industry. By investing in modernised tint testing equipment and exploring connected solutions, MOT testers and managers can ensure consistent and reliable assessments of tinted windows, enhancing road safety and compliance for all.
As an MOT provider, when investing in new technology, a helpful practice is looking for savings in other areas. MOT Juice offers a valuable solution for MOT businesses that helps you optimise business processes, reduce administrative burdens, improve efficiency and effortlessly fulfil compliance duties. Optimising your business increases your profit margin and enables you to manage unexpected business costs more efficiently.
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