Driving with interior light on: Illegal in what states?

I saw an episode of *“Cops” or some similar program and two young ladies were pulled for “driving 34 in a 25 mph zone and driving with the interior light on.”

Having heard that it was illegal in my own state since I was a child, some years ago, I called our local DMV to pose that question. I ended up getting handed off among various departments, ultimately landing someone in the legal department who told me “No, and if anyone ever told me it was, just ask them where it was codified.”

It’s not something that I’m in the habit of doing, but still I wouldn’t mind knowing from one state to the next what the law is. Not interested in any unnecessary conversations with Johnny Law because I (or my passenger) happened to flick on a light at the wrong moment.

So. . .


*Yes, I know I infer legality based on a TV program.

I had a debate going with my nephew about this, so I asked some local cops and then looked up my state’s codes and found that in Washington state, it is definitely legal to do so. (The cops laughed and said they do it all the time.) You might have to look up each and every state. There is certainly a widespread belief that it is illegal, but I really wonder whether it actually illegal anywhere, or if it’s just a good excuse to pull someone over.

Cops consider it to be indicative of drunk driving.

Probably not a good idea because it reduces your night vision and increases internal reflections, but “not a good idea” doesn’t always mean “illegal.”

I just read the entire Louisiana motor vehicle code (RS 32:###) and it isn’t in there anywhere.

Or someone who is on their cell phone and trying to write something down, while driving. Another ‘distracted’ driver, possible risk for causing an accident. Certainly reason enough to pull them over and check out the situation.

If a cop ever claims to have pulled you over for driving barefoot with your interior lights on, you better start wondering what else is going on. Neither one of those things is really illegal in most places but there is widespread belief that they are. How could they even define such a thing these days? Lots of electronic devices produce light in different ways.

Sometimes I need to have the light on so that my wife can feed my baby boy.

(Yes, they are both in the back, and she is using a bottle.)

My car has separate passenger and driver lights as well as the dome light. The passenger light is handy for reading maps and such.

The statement that driving with the dome light is illegal, was originated by fathers driving at night with the kids in the back seat, wanting the light on so they could read or play cards.

Instead of Dad, just saying no, he lied about the legality of the practice to get his kids to shut up.

CRIMINY! That should have said

But thanks for the responses.