These are usually marked for daytime use only and ‘not ECE approved’. I have read somewhere that if you have an accident wearing a tinted visor, your insurance can be invalidated. I would guess though that it depends upon the circumstances?
Also, what is the legal status of tinted anti-fog inserts such as Pinlocks – do these invalidate your insurance?
The 1999 regulations that cover this set out what forms of visor are legal. These are visors which meet British standards, or other EU standards which are uniform across the European Union. A pillion is, bizarrely, covered by the regulations, but a sidecar passenger is not.
So if you are wearing a BS or ECE-marked visor, clear or otherwise, you are legal. However, your insurance cannot be invalidated by wearing a non-BS/ECE dark visor unless it is a specific clause of the policy. Your Insurance would cover you for third party risks but if there was such a clause in your insurance then the insurers would have an argument against paying out in a collision, but obviously not a theft. However, I have never seen such a clause, nor have I ever seen the point taken.
Once you have your visor on, and it is marked as approved, you are In the clear. A tinted Pinlock or an internal sun visor is not an “eye protector” and no more unlawful than wearing sunglasses, and much more practical. I ride all summer with a dark visor. I keep a clear one on board and I have never been pulled over for wearing a dark visor. Every police officer I have spoken to about this regards the law on this as foolish. However, to ride with a non-approved visor is non-endorsable – that is, it does not attract penalty points.
So compared to the downsides of squinting into the sun and arriving with a splitting headache and adding to my already craggy collection of lines and wrinkles by screwing up my face, I’ll take a small fine in the unlikely event of ever being pulled over by a police officer who is so bored and pedantic that the nick is worth his paperwork.
RiDE Magazine December 2013