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ASK A COP — If there’s at least one mirror, it’s legal

Carla from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, the other day I was coming from Houston and I was cruising along enjoying my music until I looked down at my speedometer and realized I was going 96 mph. I started freaking out because I wouldn’t dare go 96 mph on purpose. Officer Antoine my boyfriend said that if I was stopped I would have been arrested for going over 25 mph over the speed limit. Officer Antoine is it true that you go to jail for exceeding the speed limit sign 25 mph or more?

Answer: Good Question Carla! Sounds like something many have done and that’s called distracted driving. Carla your boyfriend wasn’t correct if you are accused or cited for driving 25 mph over the posted limit, that action does not result in an automatic arrest in Texas. When a motorist is found guilty of driving 25 mph or greater over the posted speed limit they become ineligible for a defensive driving course. But if we pay attention to the roadway and drive you won’t have that to worry about.

Hilton from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine my friend and I are at an impasse about side view mirrors on a car. My friend has a work car that don’t have any side view mirrors; both the right and left side view mirrors are missing. The only mirror he has in his car to view behind him is the rear view mirror inside the car. Officer Antoine he’s constantly driving this car without side view mirrors even though he admits he’s constantly afraid one day he’s going to get pulled over. So this started us wondering which mirror do you need to have on a vehicle to be legal? Officer Antoine is the passenger or driver mirror mandatory for driving a car on roadway?

Answer: Good Question Hilton! I have good news for you to deliver to your friend: He has been driving legal all this time and he wasn’t aware he was legal. Hilton in the state of Texas a driver of a motor vehicle must have at least one mirror to view what’s behind them. It doesn’t specify which mirror was a necessity but as long as one mirror out of the three mirrors installed on the vehicle is functioning, that vehicle can legally be operated on the Texas roadway. Hilton I know it may look strange but as long as one mirror, as in the driver side, passenger side or inside rear view mirror, is installed that’s all that is required in Texas. Now it’s not a bad idea to get the other mirrors fixed too.

Mildred from Groves asks: Officer Antoine I read your column regularly and I can honestly say I love it. My husband and I were at HEB during the thanksgiving holiday shopping and he almost had three accidents with people backing out of their parking spots. If an accident had occurred who would have been at fault, the vehicle backing up or the one moving in the lane?

Answer: Good question Mildred! Mildred I truly understand how crowded congested parking areas can be during special holiday seasons. I don’t always possess the patience to deal with the crowd so I normally turn around and try another time. But it sounds like you’ve tapped in on the continual battle over which is better: backing into a parking space or pulling into a parking space. Mildred studies have shown that backing into a parking space is much safer than pulling into a space. The mass majority of crashes (accidents/wrecks) occur when someone is backing out of a parking space. I can just imagine what your husband experienced in a congested parking area when people are in a rushed state of mind! Keep in mind, just because backing into parking spaces are safer, backing may not be appropriate for all occasions! Mildred pulling out of spaces gives you the best view of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Police departments in Texas don’t generally investigate private property crashes but the fault vehicle would normally the vehicle backing out of a parking space if a crash occurred.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday (Today) for 1 hour from 1p-2p. 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 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!