(BIVN) – A bill that would allow Hawaiʻi police to cite, and possibly remove, a vehicle with window glazing that is not in compliance with State law – that is parked or operating on public highways – passed first reading at the Hawaiʻi County Council on Tuesday.
Bill 67, which amends “Aliyah’s Law”, was introduced by Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, who called it “a new tool in our tool belt, especially for our police officers.” Police say the bill is for the safety of other motorists on the road, and as well for the officers, who need to see into a car when they do traffic stops.
Before Tuesday’s vote in Hilo, however, some councilmembers expressed concern about the provision in the bill that would allow police to tow a car for illegal tinting.
Councilmember Rebecca Villegas said “taking somebody’s car can really impede their ability to get to work, to get the kids to school, whatnot,” adding that she firmly agrees with the safety issue the bill addresses.
Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter also worried about how the new law would grant police the authority to tow away a car. “That is of great concern to me because somebody could just do it to do it,” she said, adding that received emails from concerned constituents about the bill.
“That discretion lies with the police department in every single situation right?” said council chair Aaron Chung. “I mean, not specifically as it relates to this issue, but whether they want to arrest someone or not it really lies within their discretion. But Ms. Poindexter brought up an interesting point about the effective dates of all of these safety checks, right? Something might have been legal and then all of a sudden it’s not. That might be something you might want to take a look at before it gets to a second and final reading because the effective date is upon its approval you might want to consider putting something in there that addresses that issue because it is a valid issue.”
The council advanced the bill on first reading. Poindexter was the only no vote.