Driving at Night With Interior Lights On

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.

I can't see why not. I lived

I can't see why not. I lived on the road for a number of years, driving mostly at night. When it is pitch black outside, it is easy to develop tunnel vision and/or be hypnotized. As long as the light is coming in from behind and not too bright, as opposed to having light coming directly into your face (eg. watching tv in a dark room vs with a light on above or behind you).

The worst is the people with the super bright headlights coming towards you, especially on a dark night, no lighting. So, there is something to be said for ambient lighting, in my opinion.


Would you really want to drive like that?

I suppose that should depend on the actual situation, but like Hawk, I too dim everything possible, even cover the tiny LED lights on USB chargers plugged into sockets with some electrical tape.

Can't you rely on the more traditional methods of child entertainment like an iPad or an iPhone with-out resorting to exotic measures like your vehicle's interior lights? I mean I can stare at a light bulb for as long as an average person can, which is perhaps a second or two, but I can stare at my iPhone in complete delirium for hours!

Vision impairment

Interesting to read the possible "legal" thoughts on this.

Personally, I wouldn't do so other than for a passenger to quickly read a map or such and then only if I could still see reasonably well for the conditions.  My dash lights are always turned down to where I can just make out the speedometer and tachometer. 

But I wonder about people who have all their electronics lit like Mission Control .... 

It May be Illegal

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

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