NJ Drivers who fail to Turn on Interior Vehicle Lights when Pulled Over Could Soon Face Fines

lpd pulled over lkwdLegislation that requires a driver to turn on the interior light of a motor vehicle when stopped by a law enforcement officer received General Assembly approval. The bill was sponsored by Assemblymen Ron Dancer, Dave Rible and Anthony M. Bucco.

“A police officer never knows what will happen when pulling over a driver for a motor vehicle violation,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. “Such stops can be particularly dangerous at night when an officer can’t clearly see inside the vehicle. This measure will allow officers to see who is in the car and if there are any weapons.”

Current law requires drivers to turn on the interior light if an officer asks during a traffic stop between dusk and dawn or in bad weather when headlights are required. A driver who refuses faces a $50 fine.

The Dancer-Rible-Bucco bill (A-3607/S-3201) expands the law by requiring that the interior light be turned on anytime a driver is stopped by a law enforcement officer. The fine remains $50.

“This bill protects drivers and police officers,” said Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean. “As more police use body cameras, lighting up the interior of a car becomes more important. Better lighting provides a better video of the interaction between a driver and police officer.”

“This is an easy and reasonable request,” explained Bucco, R-Morris and Somerset. “It’s a common sense measure that protects everyone involved. If a driver hasn’t done anything wrong or has nothing to hide, it’s a harmless request. On the other hand, it may give law enforcement a chance to see contraband or weapons they otherwise would not have known was there, putting them at great risk.”

The bill cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week.


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  1. What happened to the revenue generated by speeding tickets, failure to exhibit documents, cellphone and seatbelts etc.? Did everyone start abiding by these laws forcing them to create new ones? How about those powerfull searchlights they shine on the pulled over vehicle? Does that not suffice? And if your interior light happened to have burnt out? Add that to the list of maintenance checks. They’re comepletely out of control!

  2. @toot101st- I’m not talking about Inspection. I’m talking about your own personal maintenance checks to make sure you don’t get a summons because your light happened not to be working.

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