Saudi Arabia has issued a law prohibiting the tinting of glass on buses. And of course it’s created a controversy. Police state that it’s a matter of safety — drivers need to be able to see out of their windows. This Saudi Gazette article doesn’t state it, but there’s also a security concern — police need to be able to see who’s in a vehicle.
Militating against the ban are school teachers — primarily female — who believe that tinting offers them privacy from the too-eager eyes of males in other vehicles or on the sidewalks.
The bus companies are not pleased by the SR300 (US ~$100) fines they receive for each bus stopped by the police.
The clashes between competing social values are always among the most interesting to watch.
Drivers denounce ban on tinted bus windows
Saudi Gazette report
TAIF – Several companies that run buses for both schoolchildren and female teachers are in a crunch after the recent decision by the Traffic Department to ban tinted windows in school buses has forced many teachers to take alternative means of transportation and as a result lowered their profits, a local newspaper reported.
Speaking from Taif, driver Hamdan Al-Khudaidi accused traffic police of unnecessarily targeting drivers by repeatedly pulling them over and slapping them with fines for tinting bus windows.
“There has been a noticeable increase in inspections of buses carrying female teachers at checkpoints on both the Taif-Riyadh and the Southern roads which in turn causes teachers to be late for classes. Then there are repeated fines for tinting windows. This has forced many teachers to resort to alternative means of transportation,” he said, while adding that tinted windows protect teachers from the sun and provide them with privacy as they travel long distances to their schools.
In the US, each state has its own laws regarding the tinting of vehicle windows. These can range from none (as in Washington, DC) to quite dark. The security and privacy concerns in the US, though, are not quite the same as in Saudi Arabia.