Re: "Washington a lenient state when it comes to tinted car windows" (Traffic Q&A, 4-20).
I asked these very same questions about overly tinted windows, and the RCW that makes them illegal, to the Lakewood police hierarchy just a few months after the officer shootings in 2009. I was told it wasn't worth their time to stop every vehicle with windows too dark to see the interior of the vehicle.
But on Feb. 9, 2011, a man in Lakewood was shot and killed by Lakewood police. A News Tribune article quoted a Lakewood police officer as saying that officers couldn't see into the car because of the window tint. A tactical team with a shield first approached Johnson's car and could see him moving inside. One of the officers fired three shots inside the vehicle.
I still see a lot of cars with overly tinted windows in Lakewood and elsewhere.
Never miss a local story.
The RCW also states that the business that applies the tinting has to place an identifying sticker on the vehicle. Unlike businesses that cannot violate emission controls on a car, window tinters are allowed to violate the legal standards. The vehicle owner is responsible.