PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 15, 2013

ASK A COP: Left turn to H-E-B illegal, U-turn on 365 OK

Rickey Antoine
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Duhon from Port Neches writes: Officer Antoine, my wife and I are at odds about turning left off Highway 365 traveling westbound onto the feeder eastbound going to H.E.B. There is a ”NO LEFT TURN” sign posted there and I told my wife that it’s OK if we travel down to the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant and make a legal U-turn and come back to the feeder to go to H.E.B. Can I do this?



Answer:  Good Question Duhon. I have already spoken with your wife over the telephone and I must tell you Mrs. Duhon has the sweetest personality. She has already verbally conceded her loss to you on this traffic question. I advised her and now I am advising you that it is LEGAL to continue west on Highway 365 to make a legal U-turn heading back east to take the Highway 365 feeder going to the H.E.B shopping center. I have cited many vehicles who come over the bridge and make a left turn even though there is in plain sight a “NO LEFT TURN” sign posted on the feeder. For the safety of all motorists, do not make a left turn off of the Highway 365 bridge.



Sam from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I often go to the YMCA on 9th Avenue and there is a striped off section in front of the driveway if you are traveling southbound. Am I allowed to wait in the striped section for traffic to clear, or should I stay in the inside lane and stop to turn across the striped off area? Also, the striped yellow area is very hard to see, so could I be given a ticket if this is against the law?



Answer:- Good question Sam! I'm very familiar with the striped area you are speaking of. Sam, if you are traveling southbound you should continue south past the striped off area and make a legal U-turn and come back northbound to turn into the YMCA private drive. I am glad you asked this question because I am sure many YMCA members aren't aware of the violation you addressed. As a motorist, you are not allowed to drive on or turn across a yellow diagonally striped divider in the road. Sam, you are correct as well that the area is worn and hard to see, and guess why Sam — because motorists are driving over an area that is prohibited. Thank you and hopefully we can get this matter into the hands of our Streets Department.



Joshua from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine, I respect your work and what you do. Yes, I'm a motorist that was caught without my seatbelt on and you gave me a ticket. I must admit it I didn't like it, but you were professional and I didn't have on my seatbelt. I simply forgot to put it back on after coming from the store. Now my question is the other day I observed seven teenagers in a small Honda four-door car. This has to be illegal.



Answer: Great question Joshua! That car would be stopped immediately with all occupants checked for safety belts usage. Now this is where the law to me gets a little murky because the law states that a passenger in a motor vehicle who is occupying a seat equipped with a safety belt, and is not secured by a safety belt, you commit an offense. So if I'm interpreting the law as it is written it means that as long as everybody in the car that is in a position that has a seatbelt is properly secured by a seatbelt, the other occupants that are not secured by a seatbelt are NOT committing an offense. Now I personally believe that if there are not enough seatbelts you shouldn't be allow in the vehicle. But Texas law is Texas law!



Join Officer Antoine for "Ask A Cop" live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, "The Breeze" radio station, every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses the newly released “Ask A Cop” article printed in The News. You can also tune in via internet at www.ksapthebreeze.org. Ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247.



Remember to email your questions to rantoine@portarthurpd.com, or call 409-984-8541 and leave a voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640.