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ASK A COP: Car horn is for safety only, not for saying hi

Jammie from Nederland Asks: OMG (Oh My God)! Officer Antoine, I just fell out of my chair when I read your answer to the illegal use of a horn. I live in an apartment complex and some neighbor apparently is picked up to carpool every morning at 6:30 a.m.
This is my problem, the person who picks my neighbor up always comes out and blows and blows and blows the horn on their car repeatedly every morning without fail. He could very well be my alarm clock, so I need to know is this type of horn usage a violation of state law? Please help me and tell me what I could do if this is a violation? I love this column Officer Antoine!
Answer: Very good Question Jammie! YES, YES, YES, this is a violation of the State of Texas Transportation Code as we spoke of in last week’s article. The horn that comes standard on every vehicle is a warning device for SAFETY ONLY! If you use the horn for any other reason, YES, you are in violation of improper use of a Horn.
The horn is not a device to speak to someone on the street like beep-beep, or to alert someone who is inside a building that they are outside. These and many other improper usages of the horn are ILLEGAL, and operators of motor vehicles should stop such behavior. Just about everyone has some form of communication either home phone or cellphone. If you need to communicate to someone, pull over and use a cellphone, not your HORN!
Keep in mind just because many people violate this law doesn’t make it any less of a law. They should either call their friend on the phone or get out of their car and knock on the door. Jammie, I would advise you to speak with your neighbor first about the horn issue to see if they could curtail the horn blowing. If that doesn’t work you can contact your Nederland Police Department for assistance. Make sure you record the horn blowing and license plate on your cellphone for proof (if you can safely do so) and I truly hope you can come to a peaceful resolution to your problem.
Tony from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, how do you keep your sanity amidst all of the reportedly police misconduct that’s going around the country? I want you to know that I’m very PROUD of you and the Port Arthur Police Department. The service you provide on a daily basis could not be compensated by your salary. What dollar amount do you place on someone who lays their life on the line EVERYDAY! I hear people talking bad about you often but please believe me when I say I shut them up quickly. I’ve attended your “Drive Safe” class and I now, and will always, have the utmost respect for you and my Port Arthur Police Department. Thanks for all you guys and girls do to keep Port Arthur Citizens safe DAILY!
Answer: VERY Good question Tony! Tony, I’m not too certain about the sanity part (laughing)! Mistakes are made by ALL people, even the President of the United States of America, who holds the most important position in the land. But it seems POLICE Officers are held at even a higher level of accountability than that. I always tell people we are people just like you, we laugh, cry, smile, eat, get angry, sad, believe it or not, I even sleep (smile). Tony, Police Officers in my opinion are the BEST of the WORST! Imagine there is a bushel of apples, ALL of the apples are bruised is some way but you will examine them and get the ones with the LEAST bruises and make them POLICE OFFICERS. Unfortunately, some apples that didn’t look bruised are picked and later show they don’t mix with the rest of the apples. Tony, I don’t think Police Officers need training on how to deal with citizens as much as citizens need to be trained on how to deal with a Police Officer. If a Police Officer tells you to do something be like NIKE and JUST DO IT! Tony, I know I can stand on behalf of the Chief of Police, Mark Blanton, and say THANK YOU and many others for your support. It’s citizens like you all that make putting on the uniform and taking the life risk everyday worthwhile!
Tracy from Mount Belvieu asks: Officer Antoine, my son is 24 months old and I want to know when can I get him out of his car seat to the booster seat because he is a big boy and already out growing the car seat?
Answer: Good question, Tracy! You will have to look on your seat that you have for your child and it will tell you the height and weight for that particular seat. I can’t completely tell you unless I look at what his seat says the measurements and weights are for that seat. I can tell you if he is only 24 months he still needs to be in a seat with a 5 point harness. Thanks for being a concerned parent for your child’s safety. If you are in Port Arthur with your child, contact me and I will assure your child is in the correct seat.
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!”