Police Continue to Remove Tinted Coating From Some Car Windows

Military and district police in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district began another selective round of crackdowns on vehicles with tinted windows last weekend, officials said yesterday.

Russei Keo deputy governor Kab Sles said police began stopping cars with darkened windows along National Road 5 on Saturday, and that tinted plastic coating had been removed from 38 car windows as of Monday. He said police would conduct similar operations every day, if his officers can spare the time.

“We are very busy with administrative affairs,” he said, adding that the tint removal operation was suspended yesterday afternoon because of the rain, but would resume later in the week.

Commenting on the selective nature of the efforts to remove tints from car windows, Mr Sles said the spot checks could not be carried out on streets in the city center because it would cause traffic jams.

The ban on tinted windows began way back in 1997, when then-Second Prime Minister Hun Sen stated that “dark-tinted cars always carry weapons or prostitutes.” The law has been at best haphazardly enforced in the past 13 years, with most law enforcement officials not paying much attention to the cars of high-ranking officials, which are those most commonly to sport tinted windows.

“Cars belonging to high-ranking officials still have these windows, and their owners have not yet removed them,” Mr Sles admitted yesterday. But officials’ cars usually have windows made of darkened glass, which cannot be removed, he added. He declined to say whether any measures would be taken against such vehicles.

Ream Sotin, 26, a sales adviser at S’Cool, a car accessory shop in the capital’s Tuol Kok district, said that his shop had stopped tinting car windows. However some other shops in the capital can, and still do, carry out the modification, he said, adding that it was not a difficult process.


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