ASK A COP: Some tips for driving in severe weather

Published 10:47 pm Monday, January 2, 2017

By Officer Rickey Antoine

Cam from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, you always provide some good driving information that pertains to the law in Texas, can you please give some tips about driving in winter weather in Southeast Texas? Thanks for all you do, Officer Antoine and yes, I’ve written my letter of support for you to appear on the “Dr Phil show.” No matter if people love or hate you, they must be honest to the fact that Officer Antoine has made a difference in our Southeast Texas community. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know you or hasn’t heard about Officer Antoine in this area and it’s all because you do what you are paid to do- YOUR JOB!!!!

Answer: Good question Cam! What a timely

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question to a very unpredictable area: seasonal weather. Cam, we all know in Southeast Texas we don’t know what the weather will bring us, either rain, sunshine, lightning, storm, freezing, hail or fog. If we hold our breath, we might see that white stuff on the ground — I think its called SNOW! As residents of Southeast Tex-

as, we know that we can experience many, if not ALL, of those conditions in the SAME day. My first advice is if you don’t have to drive, stay off the roads during inclement weather conditions. In Southeast Texas we will have to deal with heavy downpours during thunderstorms as well as iced roads, bridges and thick fog. Excessive Speed kills during optimum driving conditions and if we add the element of rain, fog, iced roads, Speeding will be your enemy multiplied by 100. REDUCED SPEED DURING INCLEMENT WEATHER IS SMART DRIVING. It is advisable for all drivers to move into the right lane and operate your vehicle at a safe speed, even if it’s well below the posted speed limit. If a safe speed for you is 25 or 30 mph be-

cause of the weather condition on Hwy 69, make sure to turn on your hazard lamps. Cam, here’s a suggestion if your vehicle starts to hydroplane, ease off the gas pedal or brakes and steer into the direction of the skid until you have regained traction, then straighten your vehicle. Check your vehicle and make sure you have good tire maintenance and good windshield wiper blades now that we are in the winter season. Normally, inclement weather don’t sneak up on us, so daily look in The News, local TV News channel, smart phones, but learn to check your weather condition in advance to know what driving conditions you will be facing.

Mims from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine I’ve seen on television a lot of police departments have a sobriety checkpoint to get the drunks off the road. Why don’t we have sobriety checkpoints here in Southeast Texas? I’m sure you can meet your quota and  beyond. I was hit by a drunk driver, so I have no sympathy for arresting drunk drivers.

Answer: Good question Mims!  First and foremost, sobriety checkpoints are not authorized in Texas. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, Texas sobriety checkpoints “are not permissible in Texas under the federal constitution only because Texas has no statutory scheme authorizing them.” Mims, I stand with you that there are too many intoxicated drivers on our roads. But in Texas sobriety checkpoints are ILLEGAL! Even though they consistently reduce alcohol related accidents, the State of Texas has not authorized police officers to conduct roadblocks nor have they sanctioned their enforcements techniques. This makes sobriety checkpoints in Texas unconstitutional! Police officers in Texas have to use their skills of noticing signs of intoxication while driving instead of stopping all vehicles on the road in a checkpoint.

Susan from Port Neches asks: Officer Antoine my mom and I just love and appreciate this column, like many readers we find ourselves turning to this section “Ask A Cop” first on Tuesday mornings. Officer Antoine, my mom’s driver license is due for renewal. She will turn 81 years of age on January 21 and I’ve tried to go on-line to request it and we’ve even mailed it in, but the request was rejected. Now Mom is afraid that something bad has happened to her license, what should we do?

Answer: Good question Susan! Tell your Mom to calm down; I believe I see the problem. Susan your mom has reached beyond the magic age of for license renewal (79). In Texas, once you have reached the age of 79, you will no longer be eligible to renew you license online or by mail. You must go up there in person. Licensed drivers in Texas must renew their license every 6 years, and Susan, when your Mom reaches the golden young age of 85, she will experience another change. Instead of renewing her license every 6 years, she will have to go in every 2 years to renew her driver license.  Susan I would like to extend to your mom — and I know she’s reading — a very Happy Birthday MOM!!!

Join Me, Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze radio station, every Tuesday for at least 1 hour from 1p-until we are done. 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 Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247. Remember to email your questions to , 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 always free and comfortable to approach and “Ask A Cop”!