Q&A - Driving at Night With Interior Lights On
QUESTION: Is it legal to drive with the reading light on in the back seat at night? We are trying to find ways of keeping our toddler happy (and quiet) without impeding safety.
ANSWER: There is nothing specific in the Motor Vehicle Act or Regulations that prohibits this. However, in a round about way you could run into trouble if the light interferes with your ability to see, which a bright interior light could do at night.
Requirements for moving vehicle
195 (1) A person must not cause a vehicle to move on a highway if
(b) the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle is obstructed.
Careless driving prohibited
144 (1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway
(a) without due care and attention,
(b) without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway, or
That said, it is best to keep your instrument cluster lights and any other interior lighting set so that there is just enough light to read them. If there's lots of bright illumination inside your car, your pupils close down like they do on a sunny day, making it much more difficult to see the dark road ahead.
Ditto if your vehicle has a large LCD display screen in the dash for GPS or vehicle controls. Set the illumination low to match your dash lighting.