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Ask a Cop: Tailing the competition: Hubby needs to back off!

Tina from Groves Asks: Officer Antoine, thanks for all you do to inform the community about driving laws. My husband is not totally reformed on his bad driving habits, and I’m the least bit excited when he drives, especially on the highway. I will say thanks to God and the Ask a Cop column. He’s more conscientious about laws than he’s ever been, because there was a time when I wouldn’t ride with him. Officer Antoine, my husband is a habitual tailgater. If he wants to pass another vehicle on the highway, he gets too close to them to intimidate the other driver to move over. Did I mention he drives a big truck? Officer Antoine, this has me pulling my hair out. How close are can you be to a vehicle before you violate the driving too close law? I will say he respects your column so can you please help!

Answer: Good question, Tina! I personally don’t know a perfect driver (myself included), but I’m grateful for motorists like yourself and thousands of others, who have taken an interest in this column to increase our knowledge of the Texas Transportation Code. In my opinion, once our knowledge about the laws on the road is better, we drive better, which will in turn make our roads safer. Now Tina, tell your husband tailgating is only OK as long as he’s in the parking lot of a football game, either high school, collegiate or professional sports team like the champions, The Pittsburgh Steelers (smile)! Tina, you are correct, your husband’s driving behavior on the highways where the speed limits are higher, is very dangerous and should be stopped immediately. There’s no set footage or distance given by the state for traveling on the roads of Texas, only that it’s done at a safe distance. Tina, I hope this gets your husband’s attention, that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions account for approximately 23 percent of all motor vehicle crashes, resulting in about 2,000 deaths and 950,000 injuries.

Bren from Port Arthur Asks: Officer Antoine, I have a vehicle that has a transmission problem and sometimes when I get in it, the gear won’t go into drive but reverse works just fine. Let me say this first, I’m very skilled at reverse driving. Now Officer Rickey Antoine, if I get in my car and the transmission is acting up and won’t go into drive, can I take it home in reverse if it’s not too far away?

Answer: Good question, Bren! I’m sorry but this is hilarious to me, because I’ve had transmission problems before and the very thought popped into my head, but I didn’t do it. I’m sure almost everyone reading this has had vehicle maintenance problems, so they can relate to having car problems. Bren, I’m sorry to inform you that driving on the roadway in reverse is not permitted in the state of Texas. Your vehicle is not fit to be on the roads of Texas until you have your transmission properly repaired. Bren, driving in reverse is not allowed, and if you find yourself in an area on the roadway where your vehicle won’t shift into drive, call a tow truck.

Cal from Port Arthur Asks: Officer Antoine, my grandson was getting on me for not setting my parking brake when I exited my vehicle. He even went on to say I could be ticketed, or even arrested if I don’t set my parking brake before leaving my car. I asked him where did he hear such foolishness, and his answer was from Officer Antoine at his driving class. Officer Antoine, I read your column and I’ve never read this before. Is it against the law in Texas to exit your vehicle and not set the parking brake even if you turned the vehicle off first?

Answer: Good question, Cal! Your grandson appears to have been very attentive in my class and has absorbed some knowledge that you don’t have. Cal, your grandson is 100 percent, absolutely correct to say that in Texas, it is illegal to park your vehicle without setting the parking brake. Cal, it doesn’t matter if you’re on a flat or inclined plain surface, you MUST set your parking brake upon exiting your vehicle in Texas. Failure to do so could result in a citation or arrest for the violation. So Cal, thank your grandson and go set your parking brake.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday  from 1-2 p.m. 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 Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, or call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or voice mail question, or mail them to: Officer Rickey Antoine, 645 Fourth Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!