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ASK A COP: Police are not hiding

Sam from Port Neches asks: Officer Antoine, why do you hide on the hill on Twin City Highway between Hogaboon and Saba Lane. I’m always looking out for you. It seems like you’re just picking on people.

Answer: Thanks for the question Sam, but first let me clear up something. Sam how am I hiding, I’m in a marked police unit in the open. If I am hiding, well I’m hiding in plain sight. There’s no reason to be looking out for me, Sam there’s no need to look for me because if you’re obeying the law, guess what, I’m not looking for you. Sam when you go to a store do you look for the police? NO because you are not there to steal, so tell me again why you are looking for me on the street? I don’t pick on drivers, I only stop someone when a violation of the law has occured. I hear this “picking on people” a lot. Sam, let me show you picking. I believe and know the citations I issue prevent injuries and save lives. Consider this: When you exit your vehicle, do you set your parking brakes? Well in the state of Texas since 1995 it’s been illegal to exit your vehicle without setting your parking brakes first whether on a hill or flat surface. Sam I don’t go around checking people getting out of their cars for not applying parking brakes even though it’s illegal…

Harold from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I just bought a radar detector for $149, I’m kind of nervous about using it. Is it illegal?

Answer: Good question, Harold. In the state of Texas radar detectors are legal to have and use inside your vehicle on the roadway. Harold, why did you buy it? You purchased it so you can be alerted to the presence of a police officer using a RADAR to detect and slow down dangerous speeding driving on our roads? In my opinion you have wasted $149. All you had to do was follow the rules of the road. Harold, when has doing what’s right become wrong? When I see a driver with a radar dector it tells me you like to break the speed limit law and drive fast and stop when police are near.

Gloria from Beaumont asks: That’s a pretty cool column the Police have in the paper, everyday people asking a cop questions. I’m learning some things. Thanks. I have tinted windows on a car I just bought and I wanted to know how dark can my tint be?

Answer: The state of Texas allows no lower that 25% (VLT) visible light transmission on the front driver and front passenger windows. The rear passengers and rear window can be as dark as you want them. I would go to a window tint shop, an inspection center or to your local police department and ask for a check with a tint meter on the front windows to see if they are legal. Dark tinted windows can look cool in the daytime but remember, darkness comes and it becomes very difficult to see out of the dark tinted windows.

Ralph from Port Arthur asks: I read where you said the law allows police to issue citation on private property for parking in a handicap zone. What if I’m not parked and I’m standing in a handicap space. Is that illegal too?

Answer: Great question, Ralph. What Ralph means by standing in a handicap zone is a driver has stopped the vehicle in the marked handicap zone but the driver hasn’t exited his vehicle (sitting and waiting for someone). Ralph, I would stay far away from that thought, you are still in violation of a handicap zone and you can receive a citation for parking in a handicap zone. Ralph, if that did’t scare you away from the handicap zone, maybe this will, the fine for parking in a handicap zone in the city Port Arthur Municipal Court ranges from $500-$750.

Frank from Groves asks: Officer Antoine, my wife and I are at odds about this, is it illegal to allow my 16-year-old boys to ride in the back bed of my pickup?

Answer: Good question. Sorry, Frank, your wife is right. Don’t you know by now they are always right! Just kidding. In Texas until your kids are 18 years old they cannot ride in the bed of your truck — with exceptions such as parades, hayrides, on the beach, only household vehicle.

Remember to email me your question at rantoine@portarthurpd.com, or call (409)984-8541 leave a voicemail, mail to Officer Rickey Antoine  645 4th St.,  Port Arthur, Texas 77640. Or if you happen to see me in public you can “Ask A Cop”.