ASK A COP — Not illegal to play Pokémon in vehicle

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Debra from Port Neches asks: Officer Antoine I’ve been wanting to ask you a question for some time now about playing games while in a motor vehicle. My son got me hooked on a game called Pokémon and now I love to play Pokémon. This game involves traveling some distance from place to place trying to locate the different Pokémon. I can understand that it probably looks strange to onlookers for a car to drive in circles and start and stop frequently, but is it illegal to play this sort of game while on the roads in Texas?

Answer: Good question, Debra! The mere thought of playing a game while on the roadways of Texas gives me nightmares, but currently there is no law in the Texas Transportation Code that outlaws playing Pokémon while operating a motor vehicle. Debra, believe me when I tell you that you’re not alone being hooked on playing Pokémon. We frequently receive calls from citizens for suspicious activity from people and vehicles, and after the investigation is completed it’s found that the suspects were just playing Pokémon! Debra you can’t blame those who call the police because some strange vehicle parked in front of their home leaves and returns or goes to the other side of the street and parks. Keep in mind that this is done in the nighttime hours, and that’s when traffic is lighter and suspicious activity is observed more frequently. Debra, if you are not parking on the wrong side of the road or impeding the flow of traffic, and observing the remaining transportation codes it is totally legal to play Pokémon on the roads of Texas. Debra while playing Pokémon always be aware of your surroundings.

James from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine I have a question regarding school zones’ flashing lights. I encountered flashing school zone lights long after the end of the school times. I’m not totally sure if we’re still supposed to obey the school zone since the lights are flashing in the school zone. I’m a law-abiding citizen and respect our school zones for the safety of our children. Are we always supposed to obey the flashing lights in the school zones?

Answer: Good question James! Thanks for striving to be part of the solution of the traveling problem we have in Port Arthur and Southeast Texas. James you’re not alone. Many motorists aren’t quite sure what to do when the flashing yellow school zones warning lights flash after the posted school zone times. I know I’m right because I pass motorist often who drive the school zone speed limit at 6 p.m. when the light are off the timer! James the flashing yellow lights in a school zone are an attention-grabber — they are for caution. The yellow lights are not the law. Now, the times that are posted on the sign? THEY are the law! James you should operate your vehicle always in accordance to the times on the sign, not according to the lights, because the lights may malfunction and not come on at the beginning of the school zone time or stop flashing at the end of school zone time. But the sign times in school zones will always be the same morning, noon and night!

Helen from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, my husband and I are always getting into a disagreement when he drives because he doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the white line at an intersection. Please help us once and for all settle this dilemma Officer Antoine, because he always stops over the white line! What is the white line at an intersection for?

Answer: Good question, Helen! I think I can help you and your husband with your disagreement. The solid white line at intersections seems to be a law in Texas that’s often overlooked whether knowingly or unknowingly. There’s actually a reason and law why the white lines are at intersections. Helen, the white line at an intersection is a STOP line, where motorists should STOP behind the white line. Motorists shouldn’t be stopped on any part of the solid white stop line, but behind it. Of course, the white line is at intersections for safety reasons to allow safe passage for pedestrians crossing the road, and for vehicles turning your direction to safely turn in the appropriate lane. So Helen, if your husband is stopping on or beyond the white stop line at intersections, he definitely is in violation of a state law in Texas.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday for 1.5 hours from 1–2:30 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!