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Time is on their side: Cops have two years to write you a ticket

Ask a Cop

By Rickey Antoine

David from Port Arthur Asks — First, I’d like to thank you for opening a regular line of communication for the citizens of Port Arthur and beyond. Officer Antoine, I’m a little perplexed about a recent encounter I had with the Police! I was traveling on the road and met two police cars going in the opposite direction. I must truthfully admit I noticed at that time I was going over the posted speed limit. But they didn’t stop me and man was I ever relieved, because they had the right to turn around and write me a ticket. So what do I do? I conveniently set my cruise control that’s installed in my vehicle. But to my dismay, I was pulled over a little further down the road by a different police officer. He told me he was informed by the first officer that I was speeding. I believe he was a younger officer trying to make a name for himself. Now, Officer Antoine, I was always told if the officer doesn’t catch you when you are speeding, we are off the hook so to speak! Is this procedure or have I been bamboozled?

Answer — Good question David! You actually bring up a valid complaint among many motorists. The police officer that observed the violation does not have to be the officer that stops your vehicle and issues you a citation. When a police officer observes a violation, time is on the officer’s side as to when he shall issue the citation. David, in your case, that is routine operation within the law enforcement community. Officers often radio other officers and advise them of what they observed. The other officer now has probable cause to stop said vehicle and issue a citation on the statement of another officer, even when the Officer that will issue the citation did not observe the motorist violating any law! David along with that, any law enforcement officer in the state of Texas has two years from the date they witnessed a Class C misdemeanor to issue any person a citation. They can contact the appropriate court and have you subpoenaed to answer a complaint that could be a year old. So, if you don’t violate the Texas Transportation Code, you have nothing to concern yourself about.

Cecil from Groves Asks — Officer, my husband and I just love and appreciate your column every Tuesday! The other day we were traveling down the street and of course, I was driving because he’s not allowed to drive me (laughing)! Well, I approached a yield sign and there was a big truck that came to a stop sign. Of course I stopped because I’m scared of the big trucks. So you can guess my husband is in the passenger seat telling me to go. It’s my policy to let the big trucks go, am I wrong to think this way?

Answer — Good question Cecil! You, like many other readers, need to know I never tire from citizens telling me how they enjoy or have learned from this weekly column, and how it has changed their driving behavior. Cecil, I can’t say you were wrong, but it looks like you did have the right-of-way because you had a yield sign and the truck was at a stop sign. But, I have to go along with the mister, I probably would have told you to go as well. Now if you decided to allow the truck to go first, I can’t say you were wrong for doing that either

Helen from Bridge City Asks — Officer Antoine, I have a friend I regularly carpool with and it seems like, when they are behind the wheel, it’s lunchtime. She’s always eating constantly to the point she keeps a trash bag in her vehicle because of the constant stops to fast food establishments. Her driving scares the wits out of me every time she gets behind the wheel! Is it illegal to eat while driving?

Answer — Good question Helen! First thought that came to mind is that you, Helen, need to invest in a different carpool partner. Saving money for gas is not to be compared with saving your life. Unfortunately, at this time in the great state of Texas, eating while driving being the wheel of a motor vehicle is totally legal! No law against eating while driving. Thanks Helen, now I’m hungry…

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 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 always free and comfortable to approach and “Ask A Cop!”