ASK A COP — 60-day grace period for old tags issued

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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Georgia from Nederland asks: I pray you and your family are safe, as well as all of our first responders and medical personnel in Southeast Texas.

Officer Antoine, I am a senior citizen who is taking the stay-at-home order issued by Judge Branick very serious. My inspection sticker expired at the March, and I’m afraid of getting stopped and ticketed because of an expired registration sticker. My problem is how are they renewing registration if I need to stay in the house?

Now, if I need to go out of my house and drive my vehicle on an expired registration sticker, will I get a ticket?

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Answer: Yes, Georgia, Jefferson County residents are under a “Stay Home” order for protection and prevention of spreading the COVID-19 virus that’s spreading through our country like wildfire. I commend you for taking this order seriously, for many aren’t and that is what keeps our county and world at risk of spreading COVID-19.

Thanks for your heartfelt prayers for all of first responders and the mighty medical personnel working tirelessly around the clock keeping us safe and saving lives. Georgia, don’t be in despair because several of these services like Texas Department of Motor Vehicle has been shut down or working with a skeleton crew. Governor Abbott issued an order March 17 and gave a 60-day grace period to all expired registration stickers. There’s absolutely nothing for you to worry about. Feel comfortable staying in the house.

Also, Georgia, if you need to run an errand feel comfortable knowing we in the law enforcement community are aware of that 60-day grace period extension has been provided.

Todd from Port Arthur asks: My friend and I were on our way to work as we approached a railroad crossing with the rail arms down and red flashing lights. The only problem is there was not a train in sight.

So my coworker simply drove through the arms and continued on our way to work. The other day, another coworker was late to work because of the same train arms being down. I started laughing and told him how we rolled right through the arms with no problem. He told me we broke the law by going through the railroad arms.

What is the law pertaining to railroad arms that are malfunctioning and down?

Answer: Your coworker that wasn’t in the vehicle was right.

No one can go through a railway crossing unless otherwise directed by said railway workers or law enforcement officers on scene. The coworker who was driving the vehicle you were in broke the law by disregarding the railway crossing.

Just like at a traffic signal as we have discussed in the past, motorists must stop and if there doesn’t appear to be a train in sight, you are welcome to make a U-turn and go the opposite direction. At no time should anyone take it upon themselves to go through a flashing light railway.

It’s a very dangerous act that should be erased from everyone’s driving behavior. Never go through railway crossing arms that are down with flashing red lights!

Keith from Port Arthur asks: Every time I go with my wife to pick up our daughter from daycare, she always parks in the no-parking zone, but she leaves the flashers on because she plans to run in and out. She says she does it because she’ll be right back. I told her this is still illegal, but she doesn’t believe so. Can you please help us?

Answer: The very reason why your wife turns on her hazard lamps is because she knows she’s doing something illegal. Keith, for some reason, people believe hazard lamps are the passageway to breaking Texas laws, but hazard lamps don’t excuse willful transgressors. If you make up your mind to park in a no-parking zone, understand you are violating state law, and your hazard lambs don’t magically give you clearance to break any of the state parking laws.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. Listen as Officer Antoine discusses the newly released Ask A Cop article. You can tune in at or ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Remember to email questions to, call 409-983-8673 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!