ASK A COP: Uncle’s lawn chair legal, but unsafe
Published 10:10 pm Monday, June 8, 2015
Gloria from Groves asks: Officer Antoine, I have an uncle who has a head that is as hard as a brick. He does what he wants whenever he wants to do it, but I must admit that he normally is right. The quacky way he goes about doing what he wants to do is sometimes disturbing. Officer Antoine, tell me if this is permissible in the state of Texas. My uncle loves to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, while sitting in a lawn chair. He loves the show “The Beverly Hillbillies,” where Granny is sitting in the chair in the back of the truck. This is his way of relaxing, but it just doesn’t seem right. Officer Antoine, is it illegal to ride in the bed of a truck while sitting in a lawn chair that’s not secured to the bed of the truck?
Answer: Good question Gloria! I love The Beverly Hillbillies, I wish you would have mentioned your uncle’s name because it sounds like you are talking about MY uncle. It seems we ALL have a uncle like that (smile)! So your uncle likes to ride in the bed of the truck all while sitting in a chair? Gloria, I have to side with your uncle on this issue, I don’t see anything in the Transportation Code that prevents someone from riding in the bed of a truck in a lawn chair. Although it’s NOT illegal, the practice of riding in the bed of a truck while sitting in a lawn chair is NOT SAFE. Gloria, I can truly understand your family’s concern with your uncle and his hard head, but Gloria, once again, your uncle is right but NOT SAFE at the same time. Keep in mind, Gloria, just because the law doesn’t address a certain issue doesn’t mean it’s the safe thing for you to do.
Horace from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine, I find myself searching the Tuesday paper of The News looking for your “Ask A Cop” article. My wife is not very tall, actually she is under 5 feet. Every time she drives her car, she puts the seat belt under her armpit because of her height stature. Our daughter, who recently took your class at a driving school, just told her that putting a seat belt under her armpit is illegal. But she is adamant that as long as she has it clicked and on that she is legal in the state of Texas. Can you help clear up this issue between the two ladies in my life because my daughter doesn’t let up on her when she catches her wearing the seat belt under her armpit. Who is right Officer Antoine, my wife or my daughter?
Answer: Good question Horace! First I must say I applaud your daughter for her attentiveness in my class and being proactive in protecting her family as they travel on the roads. Horace, I always tell my students that you will be more educated on laws regarding the Texas Transportation Code than their parents who have been driving since before they were born. Horace, your wife is wrong and your daughter is right about the proper seat belt usage in a moving motor vehicle in Texas. No one is allowed to alter the proper way to wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle. If you place the shoulder strap under your shoulder, you are in violation of state law. Horace, the state of Texas agrees that if you don’t wear your seat belt right, you don’t have your seat belt on at all. It is all about safety for you and passengers in a motor vehicle. Wear your seat belt every time, all the time. Know that your daughter was right and allow her to get something nice, because she may have just saved your wife’s life. Tell your daughter I said job well done!
John and Lori from Port Arthur Ask: Officer Antoine, I just love this column! I cut it out and save every article you have written. You should write a book composed of all of the articles you have written. My question is every day when my friend John gets off work at Walmart on Twin City, he approaches the intersection of Twin City and 46th Street. If the light is red he waits because the bushes on the corner by the Casa Ole the Mexican food restaurant are obstructing the view and people are blowing their horns wanting him to turn right. This gets nerve racking sometimes because some people act like they are in such a rush to go nowhere. Officer Antoine, what should John do, if the view is not clear, because we don’t want any problems and cause trouble with anyone?
Answer: Good question John and Lori! Here’s what you should do “KEEP WAITING!” Motorists are sometimes rude in the way they communicate with other drivers on the road. John and Lori, don’t ever let someone make you do something that you don’t think is a safe operation of your motor vehicle. If they don’t like you sitting at a red light and not turning right, guess what, they can always WAIT! We will check out this view obstruction at the intersection to see if it is a hazard. Keep being a part of the solution and not the problem on the roads in Port Arthur. If you can’t see always WAIT!
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