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ASK A COP — Pass on the right side when crossing overpass

From the desk of the Chief of Police Tim Duriso and all of the hard working men and women of the Port Arthur Police Department, we want to extend to all citizens whom we dutifully serve a Merry Christmas. We hope and pray that you and your family are able to fully enjoy and bond closer during this season.

Lewis from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, can you confirm for me what side of an overpass or hill is the safest to pass across? It is my belief that we should pass over on the right side when crossing the overpass or hill, am I correct?

Answer: Good question Lewis! This is very important tidbit for safe driving on the roadways on ANY road you find yourself traveling. The safest lane to travel when crossing any bridge, hill or overpass is the right lane. Research reveals most of the wrong-way driving crashes are in the left lane. It’s reported at between 300-400 fatalities occurs annually as a result of wrong-way driving. There are several reasons motorists drive the wrong way on the roadway, led by intoxicated drivers, lost, confused and elderly drivers. Lewis, it’s also being reported between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. are the most dangerous hours to encounter a wrong-way driver. STAY RIGHT ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT!!!

Tonya from Winnie asks: Officer Antoine, I’m fixing to get my 11-year-old granddaughter for the Christmas holiday. She loves riding with me as we go girl shopping, you know a little retail therapy. LOL! Is it legal to allow her to ride in the front seat with me, well not actually with me but in the front passenger seat?

Answer: Good question Tonya! Very concerning question for your granddaughter, because I’m sure her safety is a No. 1 priority, then come retail therapy! Tonya, your 11-year-old granddaughter is more than legal to be company for you in the front passenger seat as long as she is secured by a safety belt that’s worn correctly. Many parents and grandparents have questions relating to their children’s legality as far as child seat, seat positions and booster seat laws in Texas. I don’t look down on anyone that asks a question, especially someone who wants to travel safely by securing children, because I encounter so many that appear to not care about the safety of the children transported in motor vehicles. Backseat is the safest place to transport children in vehicles, but as long as you transport a child in the correct safety system, any seat is applicable except the drivers seat!

 James from Groves asks: I’m in need for your assistance to settle a disagreement between a good friend and I. Officer Antoine, if I get a ticket on, let’s say, a Monday for one of my brake lights being out, I don’t get paid until Friday, so I’m unable to make the necessary repair immediately. Can I continue to drive the car and just keep the ticket I’ve already received as proof that I’ve already been ticketed in case I’m stopped again?

Answer: Good question James! I’ve heard of this scenario a time or two before!

If you’re issued a citation ticket by a police officer for an equipment violation in Texas, it is your responsibility to make the necessary repairs as soon as possible. If they can’t be made, you shouldn’t continue to operate that vehicle until such repairs are made.

James, think about it this way, if you’re traveling down Twin City Highway for lunch and you’re stopped and cited by a police officer for speeding, and when you get off only hours later, you’re speeding again down Twin City Highway, will producing the prior citation to the police officer stop you from being issued a second citation? Remember, you can be issued a citation every time you operate a vehicle on the roads of Texas that has a violation committed within the sight of a police officer.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM “The Breeze” every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses in detail the newly released Ask A Cop article. You can also tune at ksapthebreeze.org. Feel free to call in and ask your question live 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!