Is it Illegal to Drive With Your Dome Light On in Texas?
True or false? Facts or fiction? There have been things that have been told to me growing up in Texas that I’ve never questioned were illegal or not illegal. A lot of times you hear certain things that are considered illegal in Texas and come to find out that might not be the full story.
WHAT TEXANS HAVE KNOWN MOST OF THEIR LIVES
As long as I can remember, my parents would tell me to make sure if I was in a car with them while driving not to cut the dome light on or even have my cell phone light on due to the fact that it’s illegal in Texas and you can find yourself getting a ticket.
Now that I am an adult and parent, I make sure to tell my son the same exact thing my parents told me. To my surprise, the Texas status transportation code says otherwise. In the state of Texas, if you can ride around with your dome light or even a cell phone light glowing. So you don't have to sweat bullets if you turn your dome light on so your passenger can read something, or if your phone's GPS or podcast screen is glaring.
But should you drive around that way?
YOUR PARENTS JUST DIDN'T WANT YOU BEING ANNOYING/DISTRACTING
That’s right - it is not illegal to drive with your interior lights on.
So, why did your parents tell you that it is? Well, think about it. When you're driving, especially at night, any sort of distraction can be annoying and potentially cause a crash. Whether it's you reading something or looking around the cabin, or a passenger doing it, it's just something else to draw focus from the road and reduce visibility.
When I first came to the realization that this was not an illegal act, I genuinely was left with my mouth open. I have felt for years that if this were to happen to me I could possibly get a ticket. Thanks, dad.
So the next time you need to turn on the dome light for a moment to look at something, don't worry about getting pulled over for it. However, I think you should find a place to safely pull over and look so you don't have your eyes off the road too long and cause a crash.