ASK A COP — Extra caution for our schoolchildren
Published 12:01 am Tuesday, August 20, 2019
It’s that time of year again. School is beginning for all of our surrounding communities. The city of Port Arthur Chief of Police Tim Duriso is urging all motorists to take special care on our roadways when approaching stopped school buses and in school zones.
Duriso reminds us that “Safe Driving” is everyone’s responsibility. By now, you’ve noticed the big yellow school buses traveling on our roads and making various stops with flashing red and yellow lights. The chief adds that his department will have zero tolerance for motorists who disregard stopped school buses with stop sign deployed or red light’s flashing.
Texas state law says drivers must stop when a school bus extends its stop sign or turns on its flashing red lights. When a school bus is stopped, drivers must come to a complete stop on all lanes in both traveling directions; this does not apply to roadways with divided median or barrier. School buses are the safest mode of transportation on Texas roads and the chief wants to make sure every child transported during this school year return home safely.
If that’s not enough to encourage you, may we remind you that the fine for passing a stopped school bus in the city of Port Arthur Municipal Court is $750. Motorists are also encouraged to take special care while driving in school zones by obeying the posted speed limit, where fines are doubled if you’re issued a citation for speeding in school zones.
Lino from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I recently lost my whole wallet and I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find it. I guess I don’t have to tell you that my Texas Driver License was in my lost wallet. I am a hardworking man who works every day, and don’t have much down time to get my license from the driver’s license department. My question is, since I do have a good driver license that’s not expired, can I drive my car until I get my license?
Answer: Good question, Lino! Boy, oh Boy, can I relate to losing a wallet! I believe growing up I lost my wallet every month, and now that I’m grown, losing things have only gotten worse. It’s not me losing my wallet, today it’s more like keys, cellphone, glasses, train of thought… Lino, you advised you are a current Texas Driver License holder, who is no longer in possession of the license. Well, I’m sorry to inform you you’re in violation of state law if you operate your vehicle without your license in your possession. Anytime you drive a vehicle on the roads of Texas, you must have your driver’s license with you no matter the distance you’re traveling. So many motorists say they were just going to make a quick run, but wind up encountering law enforcement and can’t identify themselves, or provide a driver license when demanded by law enforcement officers.
Jack from Winnie asks: Officer Antoine, I was wondering about the use of radar detectors in vehicles. Thanks for all the useful information in your column, now I’m interested to know about the legality of radar detectors in vehicles in Texas. Can motorists have radar detectors in their cars in Texas?
Answer: Good question, Jack! May I first say that speed kills. Radar detectors are legal in the great state of Texas to have in passenger vehicles but are illegal to have radar detectors in commercial vehicles. Actually, Jack, radar detectors are legal in every state in this country except Virginia. Now Jack I must ask the question “why” do you want a radar detector in your vehicle? Radar detectors can alert a motorist of the near presence of a police radar that is meant to detect speeders. So if you’re not speeding why would you want to know where police officers that are working to slow down speeders. It always amazes me when I stop a motorist that’s speeding and they have a radar detector in the vehicle then they tell me they don’t usually speed! Why get radar detectors if you’re not a law-breaking speeder? Jack, that’s like you going into a retail store and looking for the police, but you’re not a thief. In my opinion, only speeders need and want a radar detector. Jack, I and many other motorists have built-in radar detectors inside out vehicles called speedometers!
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: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 Fourth St., Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!