Window tinting group pushes FMCSA for exemption of regs to help driver comfort, health

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Updated Jan 27, 2014
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FMCSA requires entry-level, CDL-seeking drivers to be taught a core curriculum and to receive behind-the-wheel training. The rule does not affect CDL holders who receive their CDL before the February 7, 2020, compliance date.

In what it says is a measure to help boost driver comfort and help truck operators reduce eye strain, the International Window Film Association has filed an application for exemption with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to allow windows to the right and left of drivers to be tinted beyond current federal regulations. 

FMCSA rules forbid truck windshields and windows to the left and right of the truck operator to be tinted to a point that restricts light transmission to less than 70 percent of normal. 

The IWFA, however, says that by allowing windows to reduce the amount of light entering a truck could improve driver comfort by reducing the amount of heat entering the cab and could reduce eye strain. It also could lower the amount of energy used to help cool truck cabs. 

The tinting group requests in its application that FMCSA allow trucks to have “market standard 50 percent-type of film with a 7 percent measurement tolerance (to accommodate variances in glass, glass condition, film manufacturing variation and meter differences).” 

The film it requests is “essentially ‘clear,'” IWFA says in its application, meaning it would be hard to tell whether the vehicle has even had film applied. 

“This level of application would retain the industry’s commitment to the enforcement community and also provide the commercial fleet operator with the expanded benefits of a larger number of film products which can provide energy and emissions improvements,” the application reads.

FMCSA is currently accepting public comment on the application until Feb. 24. Comments may be submitted at, faxed to 202-493-2251 or mailed or hand delivered to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C., 20590. 

FMCSA confirmed in 2012 to the IWFA that tinting the windows of Class 8 trucks is legal, pointing to its guidance that trucks are allowed to use clear window films as long as 70 percent of light is able to be transmitted. 

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In Overdrive coverage of that confirmation and guidance in April 2012, it was noted that the Skin Care Foundation recommends clear window tints with a minimum of 70 percent light transmission for side windows and for the windshield. 

In OD Senior Editor Todd Dills’ blog from the same month, he pointed to Solar Gard as an example of a window tinting option and posted this video, which shows how to install the company’s products:

[youtube 4K11UuvJ67c nolink]

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