Ask a cop: Does stop sign trump yield sign?
Published 10:15 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Gloria from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, a cross street has a yield sign at one corner and a stop sign at another. Who has the right of way first? If a highway has a paved shoulder and you are making a right turn, is it legal to use the shoulder as a turning lane? Thank you for your service and for the column in the Port Arthur News. I have changed a number of my driving habits because of it.
Answer: Good question, Gloria! Comments like this always produce a smile on my face to know that someone has changed their driving behavior because of the bridge The News provides for the Port Arthur Police Department to connect with the citizens we serve. It’s encouraging to me to know that people like you, Gloria, are becoming part of the motoring solution, and not the problem in our community of Southeast Texas. If you should happen to encounter a yield sign and a stop sign at the same intersection of a crossing area, we ALL know the stop sign means just that STOP! But a motorist can continue through a yield sign if they can do so safely, but it doesn’t give you a GREEN light to GO either, if you cannot safely do so. Gloria, this is what the Transportation Code says about a yield sign. TRC 545.152(C) An operator approaching an intersection on a roadway controlled by a yield sign shall: slow to a speed that is reasonable under the existing conditions; and yield the right-of-way to a vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to be an immediate hazard to the operator’s movement in or across the intersection. If the vehicle with the stop sign enters the intersection first, then Gloria you MUST yield the right of way to that vehicle.
Marcus from Port Neches asks: Officer Antoine, I travel to Port Arthur every day to work and I do appreciate the work that you and many other police officers in Port Arthur do to keep the roadway safe. During the traffic rush hour I experience a lot of tailgaters on the roadway. People are in such a hurry they literally get up on your bumper to cause to pull over. I am not frightened by this type of driver, but on the other hand, I do want to go home safely to my family. How close does the law in Texas say someone can travel behind another vehicle without breaking the law? How many feet or car lengths?
Answer: Good question, Marcus! This is a huge problem we have with motorists in Port Arthur and surrounding communities: Following too closely! If you frequent many salvage yards, you will notice many vehicles with the front bumper or rear bumper damaged, all due to failure to control speed and following too closely. There is a two second rule, not law, that I like to apply. If you are traveling on a road where the speed limit is around 40 mph or lower, I apply the (2) two second rule, which means I will locate a fixed object and when the vehicle in front of me passes the object, I begin to count one thousand one, one thousand two. As the speed increases, of course the space in between you and the vehicle increases. Marcus, unfortunately the state of Texas doesn’t give a specific footage or vehicle lengths that one must travel behind another vehicle. This is what the Texas Transportation Code has to say in regards to tailgaters. TRC Sec. 545.062. FOLLOWING DISTANCE. (a) An operator shall, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so that, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering into another vehicle, object, or person on or near the highway. Marcus, I don’t recommend that you hold your position in your lane with the tailgater who wants to pass. When it is clear and you can safely do so, move out of the tailgater’s way. You are welcome to record the tailgater’s license plate number and report it to the Police Department that has jurisdiction.
Mike from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine, I was convicted for a DWI two years ago, and I was wondering if I can carry a concealed weapon in my vehicle?
Answer: Good question Mike! This is something that you should discuss with your Probation Officer, regarding the stipulations of your probation. Now Mike, I must admit that the state of Texas doesn’t prohibit you from carrying a CONCEALED weapon in your vehicle for a misdemeanor Class A or B offense, as long as your charge wasn’t a FELONY DWI case. Keep in mind, readers, if you have a Concealed/open carry Handgun License and are arrested for a Class A or B misdemeanor, your concealed/open carry license will be revoked! Mike, you will not be eligible to apply for a Concealed/open carry Handgun License until five years after the date of your conviction of your DWI. Once again, consult your Probation Officer about carrying a handgun in your vehicle. The state may say “YES,” but your Probation Officer may say “NO!”
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 email@example.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!