Officer Antoine: Can he light up his car?

Published 8:58 am Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Back Quiet from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, it’s that time of year again, the holiday season we all look forward to celebrate with family and friends. I was just wondering if I can get into the festive season and put Christmas lights on my car. And I’m Back Quiet!

Answer: Good question, Back Quiet! Sorry, but this is funny to me. I can certainly agree with you that the joy of this season is definitely in the air. Christmas trees have started to be put out as well as the decorations will soon be visible outside. Back Quiet, I don’t see a violation with you putting Christmas lights on your car, as long as you DO NOT turn them on while driving on the roads of Texas. You can display your Christmas lights lit on your car in your yard, or on a private parking lot but not on the streets. I hope this information doesn’t put a damper on your holiday spirit, but having Christmas lights on your car is not approved lighting by the state of Texas.

Carol from Port Neches asks: Enjoying this column, Officer Antoine. Surely missed you for the period you were gone because this column has surely taught this girl a thing or two! Officer Antoine, my husband has an older Ford truck and he has to be at work at 6 in the morning, so he’s been in the habit of warming it up before he goes to work on cold mornings. I have a new car that comes with an automatic start. I believe I read in a previous column of yours that it’s OK to leave a car warming up if it is started remotely. Am I correct about the remote start and non-remote start in vehicles that are warming up? Can they install the remote start on older vehicles?

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Answer: Good question, Carol! You are correct knowing it is a violation against the Texas Transportation Code to leave a running vehicle unattended. Advise your husband his truck will heat up faster when it’s actually moving vs. idling, so you don’t really gain much attempting to warm up the truck. Now Carol, on the other hand, your newer vehicle with the remote starter, it is totally legal in Texas to warm up your vehicle without anyone occupying the vehicle. The reason this law is on the books is obvious — because someone will steal your car if you leave it running. It’s almost like giving your vehicle away. Remote starts make it almost impossible to drive the idling vehicle away without the key being inside the vehicle. Yes, remote starters can be installed aftermarket on any vehicle. Carol, you sound like a very loving and concerned wife, so I can just imagine what you’re going to get for your hubby for Christmas!

Victor from Beaumont asks: Officer Antoine, I met you at my company’s annual safety meeting. You gave one of the most impactful presentations I’ve ever experienced, and trust me, I’ve sat through many presentations and my life behind the wheel has forever since been changed for the better! My question for you is my cousin has a cracked windshield and he’s scared to get it inspected because of the fear of failing the inspection. He’s not in a financial place to replace his windshield, but needs to renew his registration sticker. Is there anything he can do to get his inspection passed with a cracked windshield?

Answer: Good Question Victor! Thanks Victor! I’m always glad to hear someone’s driving behavior has changed. Victor, I may have good news for your cousin. The front windshield is not an inspection item, but the windshield wipers and blades are inspected items. Even through there may be a crack in the windshield, as long as the windshield wipers and blades are functional as well as the other inspected items, his vehicle should pass inspection so he can renew his registration.

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