In Onondaga County, NY 1,280 window tint tickets were issued in March.
This is an unusually high number and is a result of a push by the Onondaga County Traffic Safety Advisory Board to focus on specific traffic violations.
The Board started with tinted windows in March. One officer explained that excessively tinted windows present officer safety issues and help drivers hide other potential moving violations inside the car such as seat belt and cell phone violations.
Now, enforcement will focus on a different violation in April and every month through the end of the year.
In order for an effort like this to ever really be effective, all violation issuing agencies would need to be on the same page. Town and village police, sherriff’s deputies and state police have all agreed to focus on the same violation at the same time. Officers have been asked to have a zero-tolerance policy for the particular targeted offense.
In my opinion, “targeting” particular violations can be problematic in some situations. Tell an officer to go out and issue speeding tickets and he may suddenly issue tickets that he would not have previously issued. An officer may feel the need to err on the side of issuing a ticket, instead of letting a motorist go, in situations where he was not 100% certain a traffic violation was committed.
That said, this initiative doesn’t appear on it’s face to be a malicious one. The monthly offenses scheduled do stand out as some of the more common and potentially problematic violations. Police, children, pedestrians and the safety of other motorists on the road are all taken into consideration. As long as the summonses are fairly issued and adjudicated, this may be a way to get some drivers to develop some new habits that would only make the roads that much safer.
Here’s a list of the violations and the months they’ll be targeted:
May-seat belt/child restraint
July-speed/move over a safe distance for stopped police cars
Aug.-stop sign/pedestrian/crosswalk safety
Sept.-school zone speed/passed school buses
Submitted by Scott Feifer, Esq.