ASK A COP — Speeding in an emergency not allowed

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Dennis from Beaumont asks: Officer Antoine, if I have a medical emergency while driving to hospital, can I turn on my emergency flashers and speed to the hospital?

Answer: The Texas Transportation Code doesn’t give consent for any motorist other than drivers of emergency vehicles to travel any speed above the posted speed limit. Dennis, you DO NOT have permission to drive someone to the hospital that’s having an emergency episode above the posted speed limit. Now with that said, “Do what you have to do as long as it can be done safely” explanation for the violation can be given later when it comes to a life-or-death situation. Dennis, the emergency flashers are actually hazard lamps and they are to be activated when you are traveling much slower, NOT faster than the flow of traffic!

Debra from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I kept my granddaughter over the Christmas holiday and my heart was just filled with joy. I can’t describe the love I have for my 4-year-old granddaughter. My problem I have is that my husband and I are empty nesters and I’ve since downsized my vehicle to a coupe that has virtually no room in the back, so I had to let her ride in the front with Me-Maw. I wasn’t comfortable with letting her ride up front. What’s the age someone can let a child ride in the front seat?

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Answer: I can understand your empty nest situation; so are we (woo-hoo)! Many grandparents are gladly given the tasks of keeping their grandchildren during the holiday or summer vacation, and they now must transform their homes to be toddler proof and their vehicles to transport toddlers. Debra, there is no specific age when a child should or shouldn’t ride in the front seat of a vehicle in Texas. What’s important is that you have your child in the correct seat for the child’s age/weight and age/height when you allow a child to sit in any seat position you choose other than your driver seat.

Marcus from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, the other day I was on my way to work and a school bus was stopped on the side of the road with its yellow lights flashing. I slowly drove past it and still to this point, I feel a little guilty like I’ve done something wrong. I was going to stop behind the bus, but there was this truck behind me blowing its horn, so I decided to slowly roll by the bus with its yellow flashing lights. Officer Antoine, the very last thing I want to do is hit a child crossing a street because I passed a school bus. Help me! Was I right or wrong from being encouraged by another vehicle to drive by a flashing stopped school bus? Thanks for all you do to keep us safe!

Answer: I can imagine how you must be wrestling within yourself on the legality of passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights. In Texas school busses are bright yellow and equipped with a stop sign and flashing yellow and red lights. The yellow flashing lights are cautionary lights, like all other yellow lights on our roadway. This brings our attention to the bus preparing to stop and makes us aware children will soon be entering or exiting the bus. Marcus, if the lights were flashing yellow, you did NOT violate the law of passing a stopped school bus. It becomes a violation when the flashing lights are RED, and the driver of a motor vehicle continues to drive by the school bus. Thank you for having a heart for the safety of our children, because I’m sure school district bus drivers will tell you motorists disregard and pass their stopped school buses daily, even when the red stop sign is displayed and the lights are flashing red.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday (today) for from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as Officer Antoine discusses in detail the Ask A Cop article. You can also tune in at Call in and ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Remember to email your questions to, 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!