ASK A COP: Is a dangerous driver worth calling 9-1-1 over?

Published 8:29 am Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jeff from Port Neches asks- Officer Antoine, I want to say “thank you” for coming to my company’s annual safety meeting and giving your safe driving presentation. I tell you some of us are still talking about you, and it’s almost been a year since the meeting. Your passion and knowledge of the subject matter kept everyone hanging to your every word. The videos hammer the message across to everyone that may have had any doubt about what you were saying. Officer Antoine, I am a changed man behind the wheel of a vehicle. Thanks once again to you and the Port Arthur Police Department for providing such a valuable source of information to the community. My question is about handicap parking spaces. If a sign is posted van accessible, does that mean only a van can park there, or is anyone with a handicap placard allowed to park in van accessible spots?


Answer- Good question, Jeff! Thanks for the kind words, and I’m humbled and grateful to know the Drive Safe seminar had a lasting effect on the driving behavior of you and your coworkers. Jeff over the past eight years, I’ve had the privilege of sharing my Drive Safe presentation to more than 20,000 attendees. I am aware most know me as a traffic enforcer, but I get more enjoyment from being a traffic educator. It allows me to connect with the community in a personal setting. I have a real passion for safe driving, and I would love to spread this life saving message to everyone that either drives or rides as a passenger of a motor vehicle. The van accessible spot is available for anyone who has a valid placard or disabled plate on their vehicle. I have encountered many motorists who thought that only a van was allowed to park in the disabled van accessible space. A reminder to all who have a placard, make sure you hang it on the rear view mirror or someplace it is easily seen. Do NOT drive with the placard hanging from the rear view mirror!

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Patricia from Port Arthur asks- Officer Antoine, if I’m driving down the highway and there’s a person weaving in and out of traffic, almost causing other motorists to run off the road to avoid a collision, should I call the police regular line or 911?


Answer- Good question, Patricia! I do understand you asked this question because you don’t want to tie up the 911 emergency lines with your call, but the scene you just described is an EMERGENCY. We need you and all motorists to be good witnesses and eyes for law enforcement officers to address this aggressive driving behavior. Police officers are not everywhere, but citizens like you are everywhere, and we need and depend on citizens to report any driving behavior that is unsafe and life threatening. We have more people hurt and killed every year in Port Arthur by drivers not paying attention behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, than violent crimes committed by gangsters, robbers and thieves. So, next time you see someone driving in such an erratic manner where they are a danger to others and themselves, please pick up the phone, dial 9-1-1 and give a detailed description of the vehicle, your location and direction of travel to the dispatcher.


Angel from Port Arthur asks- Officer Antoine, I encountered a situation regarding turning every time I travel to H.E.B on Highway 365 & Twin City Highway. If I’m on Twin City and wanting to turn into HEB, but there’s a vehicle ahead of me and there’s a vehicle that’s coming out of the parking lot wanting to turn on to Twin City, who has the right of way and can I pull and stop in front of the vehicle wanting to turn on to Twin City?


Answer-Good question, Angel! If you are driving on Twin City and you have the right of way, the vehicle that’s crossing must stop until it is safe. Angel, there is nothing wrong or illegal if you get in line behind another vehicle and pull in front of the vehicle waiting to cross on to Twin City. Now, I’ve witnessed motorists who allowed the waiting vehicle to go before them, but that was their choice to allow the vehicle to proceed into traffic.


Join Me, Officer Antoine, for Ask a Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, The Breeze radio station, every Tuesday for at least one hour from 1 p.m. -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 Port Arthur News. You can also tune in via Internet at Remember to email your questions to or mail them to: Officer Rickey Antoine, 645 4th St., Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can always feel free and comfortable to approach and Ask a Cop!