NOTE: Due to a recent influx of questions, Trooper Steve decided to revisit a topic he first answered in 2018. You can read his original response below, which remains true in 2020.
News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.
Natasha, of Apopka, asked Trooper Steve if it is illegal to drive with your car’s dome light on.
“As young drivers we are told a slew of things that aren’t necessarily true,” Montiero said. “It’s more of a list of things our parents said were against the law just so we would listen to them.”
In short, it’s not illegal to drive with your dome light on, he said.
“If you’re a parent, though, I can understand why you may pass this along,” he said. “But after searching the Internet and reading several different traffic laws, I’ve found nothing that singles out the dome light specifically. Now, there are laws that talk about ‘interior lights,’ but nothing that mentions the dome light.”
Although the law may not say that driving with your dome light is illegal, Montiero said it’s not the safest thing to do.
“Think about the distraction that you are placing at night on a driver when that dome light is on,” he said. “From depth perception to adjusting your night vision, these are things the dome light can affect when left on for an extended period of time.”
Montiero said if a passenger in the car is trying to read, he or she might want to invest in a book light so the dome light isn’t necessary.
“Remember, although something may not be illegal, it doesn’t make it safe,” he said.
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