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ASK A COP — Officer waits 10 minutes to ticket

The chief of Police Tim Duriso and the men and women of the Port Arthur Police Department want to ask motorists to take extra special caution when driving in the neighborhoods on Thursday (Halloween).

Remember our children will be excited, running and full of energy as they go from house to house seeking treats. Parents and guardians are also encouraged to instill safety precautions to all children they are escorting for all Halloween trick-or-treaters.

Keep in mind an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure!

Devon from Beaumont asks — Officer Antoine, as you can see I live in Beaumont but I travel to Port Arthur daily for work. Is it protocol for a police officer who saw someone run a stop sign to follow said vehicle for 10 minutes before they stop the car? I thought officers were supposed to stop a vehicle immediately after they observed the violation.

Answer — Good question Devon! Normally police officers stop a vehicle as soon as they safely can after they observe a violation that was committed in their presence. But then there’s POLICE DISCRETION, which leaves the responses like if, when, where, the officer address the violation totally up to the individual officer. So Devon, can a police officer observe a violation and wait 10 minutes to stop said vehicle for the violation, YES!!

Greta from Port Arthur asks — Officer Antoine, I need your help on something I encountered with a police officer.

My friend was driving her Corvette and she was stopped by a police officer and was told if she didn’t turn down her music, he was going to write her a ticket! She didn’t have any boom boxes in her car; what she had came with the car when she purchased it. I’ve heard music from some vehicles that rattle items in my home because it’s so loud. My friend’s music was nowhere even close to that; we just had the windows down singing and enjoying a beautiful day.

Now here comes this officer and spoiled our day. We think he was just jealous because her car was nicer than whatever car he drives. Why do police officers stop cars without a cause?

Answer — Good question Greta! If getting a warning spoiled y’all’s day, getting a ticket for loud music would have been just devastating. Greta, police officers encounter this quite often and as you know it’s a nuisance to neighborhoods. Most don’t know that the city of Port Arthur has a loud music from motor vehicle ordinance that prohibits music to be heard beyond 50 feet from the vehicle where the music is playing.

Just because you don’t have an aftermarket boom box in your car doesn’t mean you can’t be in violation of the city of Port Arthur’s loud music ordinance. Keep in mind you don’t have to clearly understand the words that are heard just be able to hear the sound beyond 50 feet from the source where it’s playing.

Greta, may I inform you that most vehicles are capable to emit music sound over 50 feet from inside a vehicle that has its windows down? Is it possible that the police officer was jealous over your friend’s car? We may never know, but it’s certainly possible that the music was also in violation of city ordinance.

Carol from Port Neches asks — Enjoying this column, surely has 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 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?

Answer — Good question Carol!

You are correct knowing it is a violation against the Texas Transportation Code to leave a running vehicle unattended. And with the weather changing and colder temperatures on its way, please advise your husband his truck will heat up faster when it’s actually moving versus 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 giving wife and guess what’s around the corner (Christmas)! Hint, hint …

Join Officer Antoine and (Da Krew) for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. You can also tune at 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 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can Ask A Cop!