Safety glazing films meeting set guidelines are now permitted to be used on motor vehicles
UPDATE: As per the media reports and authority responses that followed in the days after this story was first filed, the use of sun control films of the specs mentioned, could still land you in trouble! We have updated the story, including these details.
The amended CMVR Rule 100 came into effect on April 1, 2021, amidst the pandemic and in the most silent way possible. It made the use of sun control films, or more precisely ‘safety glazing material’ on vehicle glasses legal again. Films that meet standard guidelines in their composition and character, can now be used on automobiles. The move brings along a lot of relief for the heat-beaten public.
The Seventh Amendment to Rule 100 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) 1989 clearly defines the specifications of the films or coatings that can be used on vehicle greenhouses. It now defines this in terms of Visual Light Transmission (VLT) metric (which essentially defines the extent of visibility offered). It says:
Rule 100 (2) The safety glass or safety glazing of the windscreen and rear window of every motor vehicle shall be so manufactured to provide not less than 70% of visual transmission of light and it shall conform to Indian Standards IS 2553 (Part 2) (Revision 1): 2019 as amended from time to time.
The safety glass or safety glazing used for side windows of every motor vehicle shall be so manufactured to provide not less than 50% visual transmission of light and it shall conform to Indian Standards IS 2553 (Part 2) (Revision 1): 2019 as amended from time to time.
The owner of every motor vehicle shall maintain the visual transmission of light through safety glass or safety glazing as specified in sub rule (2) and sub rule (3).
Sun control films or glazing materials designed and manufactured according to these guidelines and adhering to the updated IS 2553 norms are legally allowed to be used on automobiles. No MVD or other law enforcement agency can now penalize anyone for using certified sun control films.
The IS 2553 has also been amended to give more clarity on what can be done. It now permits the use of plastic coating (films) on vehicle glass panes with the clause: “Glazing Faced with Plastics- A glass pane either toughened glass or laminated glass with a layer of plastic on the inner side”. Bureau of Indian Standards has also rolled out a number of new tests for ensuring the quality of the glazing materials like the Abrasion test, humidity test, resistance to temperature change test, resistance to fire test, and resistance to chemical test.
What’s There To Buy?
Various manufacturers have started rolling out sun control films adhering to the updated guidelines. One such name is the Aurangabad-based M/s Garware Hi-Tech Films Ltd, which currently has a series of 50-micron glazing sheets with varying capabilities and cooling levels on sale, all of which are certified to adhere to the new norms. Priced from Rs 2,500 to Rs 30,000, these provide various cooling / UV filtration levels. These have been manufactured to stand comfortably above the prescribed VLT levels. ( The one in the picture, for example, has a VLT of 88%. ) These have been tested and certified by iCAT (International Center for Automotive Technology) to be compliant with the latest guidelines.
While Garware could be one of the earliest to roll out ‘legal’ films in 2021-22, more manufacturers are expected to join the party soon. The dealers at various places are actively involved in ensuring governmental support in the effective implementation of the amended laws, thus bringing about hassle-free ownership to the buyer. Efforts are being made to get a circular published, notifying the authorities of the amendment. Garware has printed all the technical compliance data like the VLT scores on the film, along with a QR code which could be used to retrieve the same, if needed.
We would also request the government to invest in technology/equipment like VLT meters for the MVDs, so that the customer faces minimal hassle (or harassment ) from the officials, in connection with sun control films.
Update: This story was compiled based on the press-meet and one-on-one interaction we had with the CADDFed authorities. Later media reports and responses from the government have created much fuss around this. The usage ‘Glazing material’ has created ‘confusion’ among the public. While the amended rule 100 permits the use of safety glazing material on automotive glasses, this applies mostly to OEMs. The amendment thus gives complete legal coverage for laminated glasses and factory tinting of vehicle windows. It does not give a clear word on if the use of these films on vehicles, by individual consumers is legal.
However, a second rule prohibiting the use of after-market tinting films still exists, which could still be used to penalize anyone who uses sun films. Kerala minister Antony Raju has stated the same, as per media reports. Thus, extensive ‘sunfilm’ hunt parties could be launched in the coming days.