, Port Arthur, Texas

June 18, 2013

Ask A Cop: Letters, numbers should always be visible on license plates

Rickey Antoine
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — A reminder to join Officer Antoine for “Ask A Cop” live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday for 1 hour from 1p-2p. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses in detail the newly released “Ask A Cop” article that printed in The News. You can also tune in online at Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247.

Charles from Port Neches Asks: Officer Antoine, your column is a very educational public service. A couple of weeks ago, someone asked about front license plates. That reminded me of another license plate issue. How much of a license plate can be covered by the plate frame? My vehicle plates are in frames installed by the dealer, with the dealership name on them.

Answer: Good question, Charles! I’m glad you mentioned this because when the law was first written several years ago about obscurity of license plates, the language of the law wasn’t quite clear. Now in recent years, state officials have cleaned up the language and it states: A person operating a motor vehicle cannot have any of the license plate numbers/letters or the state obscured by any object. As long as the dealer frame doesn’t cover up the state name or plate numbers/letters you are fine to display the frame around the license plate?

Dorothy from Port Arthur Asks- Why aren’t more people caught who litter from motor vehicles and what’s the fine if found guilty? Is it illegal to cut your yard and blow all the grass into the roads? It appears counterproductive if you are cleaning up one area while trashing up another.

Answer- Good question Dorothy. This is a constant problem that can occur anywhere at any time. I’ve seen people just open up the doors on their vehicle and empty ashtrays or throw out fast food bags on the ground. I don’t understand why people would do this to their own city, but they do! This makes an eye sore for the city in which we live. Someone who may obey the traffic laws can also be a litter bug. As well as people cutting grass instead of bagging up the cut grass, they blow all of the cut grass into the street. They clean up their yards in order to dirty the city in which they reside. This doesn’t make sense to me either! It is illegal for yard maintenance workers to cut yards and take a blower and blow trash and cut grass into the streets. You must remember all of this debris go into the drains in our city and when we have a heavy rain downpour the drains a clogged up because of

all the litter and debris being stored in them.

Cathy from Port Arthur Asks- Officer Antoine, I travel Twin City Highway daily and I see PAPD sitting parked in the middle turning lane in front of businesses between Hogaboom Rd. and 46th Street. Isn’t it illegal to sit parked? I couldn’t sit there parked in a turning lane. They also sit parked facing oncoming traffic in front of Echo construction on Twin City, facing the oncoming traffic. I couldn’t park there either without being in violation. Please address why police are above the law in these two situations.

Answer- Good question Cathy! Well to start off, PAPD officers don’t think we’re above the law. I must admit we are exempt from a lot of traffic laws while actively working in a marked emergency police vehicle. We are not sitting there just relaxing and listening to music because we don’t have anywhere to be. We are actively working to make road travel safer for YOU and others who travel on Twin City Highway. We strive to be HIGHLY visible to all motorists. This is funny because I remember answering a question last year and the writer was asking why I like to hide on hills of Twin City, and now your complaint is about us being visible in the middle of the road. We believe the more visible we are to the public we protect, we are a safer motoring community. So Cathy, hopefully the next time you travel down Twin City Highway in Port Arthur and see PAPD sitting in the turning lane, you

will see us in a different light instead of thinking we believe we are “all that above the law.”

Remember to email your questions to, or call 409-984-8541 and leave a voicemail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can “Ask A Cop