Ask Trooper Steve: Why do so many trailers have non-functioning lights?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve was asked, “Why do so many trailers being pulled by vehicles have lights on them that do not work?”

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Trooper Steve wanted the person who submitted that question to know — he asks himself the same thing all the time.

“We have all these extra trailers that can get attached to vehicles, it’s probably every single day you can drive out there and there will be a tail light missing, or the vehicle’s lights will be working and the trailer lights are not,” he said. “So, Florida law does require those trailer lights to be operating the exact same way as on your vehicle, so if your turning signals are activated, those on the trailer also need to work.”

According to Trooper Steve, it’s probably the most neglected part of a vehicle, though it’s often not intentionally neglected.

“You just always need to make sure that those wires are properly fastened to each other. Super cheap to fix, too; at any automotive store, you can walk in there, these devices are very cheap to make sure they’re working properly,” he said.

As far as the repair process could go, Trooper Steve said electrical tape can go a long way in a pinch.

“I am no handyman by any means, but I’ve pulled a few trailers here and just taking that extra time to wrap your devices, to make sure it works — get a partner out there, make sure your tail lights are working, it can be very dangerous if they’re not. Having your hazard lights flashing because the trailer lights are not is not an exemption of the law, so make sure your stuff’s good,” he said. “Also, make sure that the wire is not scraping on the ground. I see this so much and it ultimately could mess up the connection for your safety equipment.”

If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, email him at

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About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.