Illegal vehicles 11-21-07

Hawaii Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Sergeant Dexter Veriato
Phone: 961-2305
November 21, 2007

Media Release

Big Island police continue to cite drivers of trucks with wide, oversized tires and vehicles with windows that are illegally tinted too dark.

According to the Hawaii County Code, all vehicles on public roads must have fenders, covers, flaps or splash aprons covering their tires. A vehicle with oversized tires won’t qualify for a safety sticker if the tire’s threads are visible outside the fenders.

The intent of the law is to minimize the splashing of mud, rocks and debris into the path of other cars. Such splashing can cause damage and visibility problems for other motorists.

A driver can be fined from $57 dollars to $72 dollars for operating a vehicle with oversized tires that aren’t covered. A police officer also has the authority to declare the vehicle unsafe. In that case, the vehicle could be towed away.

Police also are reminding the public about dark tinting on vehicle windows. For a variety of safety and enforcement reasons, police and other emergency responders must be able to see the interior of vehicles. The fine for excessive tinting is $287. The installer of the illegal tint job may be fined $537. All tint shops and installers in the state are monitored and know what the legal amount is for different vehicles.

From January through September, police issued 1,261 citations for unsafe vehicles.

"This is a safety issue," said Sergeant Dexter Veriato. "Therefore, police will continue citing operators of vehicles with oversized tires and illegally tinted windows."

Police encourage anyone who is uncertain about these laws or who has questions about a vehicle to call the Police Department’s periodic motor vehicle inspectors at 961-2320 or 961-2321.

Members of the public who wish to report an illegal vehicle may call 961-2226. Police cannot cite an owner if they don’t personally witness the violation, but they will send the owner a letter explaining that the unsafe vehicle is illegal.

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