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ASK A COP: License safe if fines are paid on time

Jazz from Houston asks: Officer Antoine, I’m a former resident of Port Arthur. I used to be afraid of you and thought you sucked, but today I will admit you Rock! Thank you for all you do to keep us safe even though there are many others who were like me, who still think you suck. My friend had a lapse in memory and didn’t renew his insurance policy and was stopped by a Police Officer and got a ticket for no insurance. I was told that his license would be suspended for a conviction of a no insurance ticket. Is this true?
Answer: Very Good question Jazz! Glad to hear I don’t suck to you anymore all the way in the Big Houston (Smile). If your friend has a conviction of “no insurance” or “fail to maintain financial responsibility” on their driving record, their Texas Driver License will NOT automatically be suspended. Once the conviction is added to your driving record, the state will issue a surcharge where your friend will have to pay a fine of $260 for THREE consecutive years. Now Jazz, if your friend fails to make the payment in the timeline given by the state, THEN the state of Texas will suspend his license. Suspension of a Driver License comes after failing to pay surcharges. Jazz, remind your friend the state is all computerized now and the suspension will not go away until the surcharge is paid.
Kevin from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, on 4/27/15, there was a heavy rain storm on Highway 69 causing traffic to slow down, and several drivers turned on their 4 way flashers. Before long, more than half of the vehicles traveling south into Port Arthur had their 4 way flashers on while continuing to drive into both lanes. My understanding is that this is illegal and dangerous for several reasons. First, emergency flashers are to notify other drivers you are having problems on the shoulder of the roadway and you are not moving so don’t move into them. Second, when 4 way flashers are being used, the directional signal is inoperable making it difficult for other drivers to anticipate your intent to change lanes. Third, since it was raining very hard and difficult to see anyway, turning on the 4 way flashers just added to the problem. It rains here often and it shouldn’t be an emergency situation where you would need to make others aware of the rain. They should be able to figure this out for themselves. What I found surprising was that so many others followed suit by using their own 4 way flashers. I guess monkey see, monkey do. What is your position on this issue?
Answer: Good question Kevin! As stated in last week’s answer Kevin, the flashers are NOT emergency flashers. They are HAZARD LAMPS! In my OPINION, I think it is a good idea, and it is permissible during a heavy downpour for vehicles traveling in the OUTSIDE lane to activate their HAZARD lamps as they continue to travel at a low speed on the roads. Kevin, the optimal goal here is SAFETY! It is our goal to allow all motorists to arrive to their destination safely on a daily basis. We have our hands full during dry sunny days keeping our roads safe, so during inclement weather that task is multiplied times 10. So during a heavy down pour if you decide NOT to pull over on the shoulder if drivers are in the OUTSIDE lane traveling at a slow speed (and they should be), I believe it is a wise precaution to take by activating your HAZARD lamps. Remember these flashers are NOT for emergencies, but to warn approaching motorists that more than usual care should be taken when approaching or attempting to pass. So Kevin in this case, I guess Monkey see, Monkey do is a GOOD thing.
Brad from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine, thanks for the wealth of knowledge I’m receiving every Tuesday! I love the “Ask A Cop” in The News! I have many friends that gather on a regular basis just to discuss your answers, so your ears should be on FIRE! Our question for the day is, can you get a speeding ticket for going over the yellow speed signs?
Answer: Good question Brad! I was going to go to my doctor about my burning ears, now I know it’s just you and the guys talking about me (Smile). Brad, the yellow advisory signs are not LAW, but a suggested safe speed. Now if you are traveling OVER the suggested safe speed and you are involved in a crash, you can be cited for failure to drive at a Safe Speed. Brad, I’ll now go to the store and get a bag of ice and wait for my ears to start burning tomorrow.
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 via internet at www.ksapthebreeze.org. Feel free to call in and 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. If you happen to see me in public you can “Ask A Cop!”