• Mar 12th 2010 at 5:07PM
  • 13
Is CARB backing down on its so-called "cool cars" regulation? On May 7, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will have to turn in its final draft of the controversial regulations, which calls for automakers to build cars and trucks with windows that prevent 45% of the sun's energy from entering a vehicle by 2014 and 60% by 2016. Vehicle manufacturers have argued that it will be expensive to meet the requirements, and other groups are complaining for their own reasons. Heck, there was initially concern that off-roaders might lose their beloved Jeep Wrangler altogether. Thank goodness they came to their senses.

While several different groups have significant concerns about the proposal, it looks like CARB might finally be listening to one group in particular – law enforcement. It seems that California's sheriffs, police chiefs and crime victim groups are calling for the plan to be amended... and CARB is actually listening.

According to The Detroit News, The California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs Association, Crime Victims United of California and other groups are concerned that the required window glazing needed to meet the new regulations will seriously degrade cell phone signals, as well as those from ankle monitoring bracelets. We wouldn't want to lose track of felons now, would we? The other big concern is that 911 calls might not get through if the window treatment prohibits a strong signal.

That seems to be sending CARB back to the drawing board, with suggestions coming that the plan will be revised before the May 7 deadline. As a refresher, the idea behind the "cool cars" regulation is to save gas and reduce emissions. Cooler cars reduce their air con use, and with California's overflowing freeways, that could mean a significant drop. In fact, CARB is predicting that the regulations will save 700,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2020 – the equivalent of parking 140,000 cars a year.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      California sets the trend for the the whole country in stupid laws, that seemingly cause society to deteriorate. Instead of ac laws or CAFE standards that lower choices, they should START WITH A $1GAL GAS TAX! Ok, give every registered driver a $500yr tax rebate or gas card if you are concerned it will only hurt the poor (and the Arabs). This will generate about $30billion a year in tax revenue, lower GHG, lower highway congestion, reduce driving times, encourage (and pay for) mass transit, provide funds for solar energy (further reducing GHG), and pay for matching grant funded Basic Health Care.

      To go with this, allow sales of tiny diesel cars that get 60mpg.

      And let people have any kind of windows they want, or drive a Corvette, and the little misses or mister can commute in an F250 if she wants TO PAY THE GAS TAX.

      Every single comment in ABG should end with PAY THE GAS TAX! I want a VW Polo 1.4TSI and a Transit Connect 1.6TDI.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Window glazing would not block radio signals unless it were metallized. Surely there are other ways to block the solar rays without using metallic film?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Even if that was the case, they can still implement built in antennas to amplify radio signals inside the cabin.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The problem is that it might not be possible, due to safety regulations limiting window tinting. Federal safety laws trumps CARB.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well in that case "Cool Cars" might be a really good thing. I like the idea of a window glazing that reduces cell phone signals ... less distracted drivers talking on the phone while driving! And I'm tired of getting sunburned through the window ... if this helps, I'm happy! Also not having to use the air conditioner so much is a plus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly, the idea itself is sound and makes perfect sense....just develop the appropriate technology to answer the concerns, and you can save tons of energy this way...
      • 5 Years Ago
      There are over 100 million cars already on the road with metallic layers in the glass- 10 million in the US and over 1 million in California alone without issue.

      Formal dissenters in this debate are more concerned about politics and profit than actual science.

      • 5 Years Ago
      One Law Center
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, putting in double pane glass windows is too hard? I've never seen it done in a car before with a layer of gas or vacuum in between, but it would be a solution to this.

      I have window tint on my car to reduce the heat load inside of my car, I wonder how dark the windows would need to get to meet this requirement?
        • 5 Years Ago
        hm.. that would suck for power windows because the glass would be heavier and you'd need a damn good seal, too. I would think it would make doors quite heavy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, imagine the reduction in traffic accidents if you couldn't get a cell-phone signal in your car with the windows up. You'd ether have to be going slow enough to hear the phone over the wind noise, or have an antenna built into the car, which would probably also mean hands-free was built in.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Contrary to popular belief, drivers using "hands-free" cell phones are still often significantly distracted and therefore more likely to crash than drivers not using a cell phone. The only real difference between a hands-free cell and a non-hands-free cell is that the driver has one more hand on the steering wheel.

        It's actually the call, not the type of phone, that makes the difference. A call for which a driver has to focus a lot of brainpower (an important deal, say) is going to be a major distraction whether or not the driver needs to use his hands.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Strong agree.
        But god forbid we give up our traffic phone calls.

        My ex-girlfriend likes to text on the road in traffic out in LA. She drives a pretty big vehicle too. I couldn't get her to stop. Apparently it is too common place and everyone does it. cell phone blocking window tint, or at least enforcement of the cell phone laws would be a godsend out there.
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