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Local News

May 13, 2013

Ask a Cop: Can 'digital' insurance card be used?

PORT ARTHUR — John from Groves asks: Officer Antoine, what's your thought on an auto shop that specializes in repairing turn indicators? I drive every day in Port Arthur and Mid-County and have observed that many of the blinkers are inoperable. It doesn't matter whether the drivers are turning at an intersection, entering a parking lot, or changing lanes. Worse yet, there are many malfunctions: a driver signals a left but suddenly swerves right — or vice versa. I'm looking for a franchise which will make these repairs quickly and inexpensively, thus preventing collisions and injury. Are you interested in partnering with me?

Answer: Thanks for the laugh John, this really made my day! You are correct, "failing to signal intent" is a common disregarded law among many drivers. I echo your sentiments on the probability of there being a mechanical malfunction, but often times it’s not in the maintenance of the vehicle, it’s the operator of the vehicle. Many drivers feel like they don't have to signal, and to them, it’s really no "big deal." To me and apparently to you, John, yes, it is a "big deal!" I constantly stop drivers who fail to signal their intent to change lanes or turn, and their response seems like they're offended that I'm even addressing such a small issue. But they don't realize that this "small issue" causes crashes, injuries and possibly deaths every day. John, thank you for taking a stand with local law enforcement in support of making the roads of Southeast Texas safer to drive.

Roy from Groves asks: Officer Antoine, I enjoy reading your articles. I'm like many other readers because I've learned a lot I never knew. My question is, when I'm traveling eastbound on Jimmy Johnson Boulevard and approach the traffic signal at Twin City Highway, there is also a yield sign there. Which traffic device should I obey? Why is there a yield sign at an intersection that’s controlled by signals?

Answer: Good question, Roy, and thank you for being a faithful reader of the article. I have seen that sign and I really don't get it either, Roy! It truly has no business being there. Thank you for reminding me to address this issue. I'm not sure if it was placed there after a storm when there were no traffic lights or what. But be assured it will be removed. By the way, the traffic signal overrides the yield sign. Readers, if you observe a problem or an issue, please don't hesitate to address it. Remember, Police can't be everywhere and see everything, but you can. That’s why we rely on citizens like you, Roy.

Josh from Bridge City asks: Officer Antoine, what is the amount of drugs (marijuana) you can legally have in a car?

Answer: Thanks for the question Josh. The answer is zero, ziltch, nada, none. While there are other states in America that have passed legislation to legalize the possession of marijuana, the great state of Texas is not one of them. The law states "any usable amount of marijuana is illegal" to possess in Texas.

Lucille from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I have Geico Insurance and they now have an application where I can have my insurance card displayed on my cell phone. Can I use this if I'm stopped by the police or do I still need my paper copy?

Answer: Good question Lucille! The age of modern technology is constantly evolving. I understand your concern because Port Arthur/Beaumont as well as all the Mid-County Police departments have up-graded to electronic ticket writers. The days of issuing handwritten paper citations are gone. First of all, I will not deal with ANY type of cell phone while on the scene of traffic violation investigation, not even my own. Lucille, I can't speak for all officers but at this time, I will not accept your proof of insurance on a cell phone.

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. If you happen to see me in public you can "Ask A Cop!"

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