ASK A COP — Who has right when vehicles change lanes within three- and four-lane highways?
Jacob from Port Arthur asks: About 2 weeks ago I was traveling in the inside lane of a four-lane highway from San Antonio. I wanted to change lanes but as I attempted to change lanes, there was another vehicle to the right of me attempting to go into the lane I wanted to drive in. We nearly collided, thanks to my quick reaction to stop going into the lane. Who would have been at fault if we had collided? Is there a law in Texas that says who has the right of way in such an instance?
Answer: Jacob, if you were traveling in the left lane of a three-lane or more highway, the Texas Transportation Code gives the right of way to the driver on the left who wants to change lanes. So if a crash had occurred, you should not be the at-fault driver. The driver of the vehicle to the right wanting to change to a left lane needs to make sure the movement can be undertaken legally and safely. Refer to the Texas Transportation Code 545.061
Cathy from Port Neches asks: My husband believes if a driver approaches an intersection with a red signal and he slows down and there’s no traffic coming that he can turn right on a red signal without stopping as long as it doesn’t interfere with other vehicles on the road. I’m just not buying his theory on turning right on red. Is my husband right on his decision to turn right on a red light?
Answer: Intersections are not a place to be playing the guessing game. In the state of Texas, 3,689 deaths were reported in 2018 to the Texas Department of Transportation. Out of that, there were 701 people killed in crashes occurring in intersections or related to an intersection. Intersections are risky places to travel, so adherence to state law is top priority. Cathy, your husband’s theory of approaching a red light intersection is WRONG. You must stop at a red light when wanting to turn right. You are allowed to turn right on red, but you must bring your vehicle to a complete stop before turning right, and I include it must be safe to turn right.
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 leaves the flashers on because she plans to run in and out. She does it because she’ll be right back. I told her this is illegal, but she doesn’t believe so. Officer Antoine, 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. For some reason, people believe hazard lamps are the passageway to breaking the state of Texas laws, but hazard lamps don’t excuse willful transgressors of the law. If you make up your mind to park in a no parking zone, understand you are violating state law and hazard lambs don’t magically give clearance to break any of the state parking laws.
Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. as Antoine discusses the Ask A Cop article. You can also tune in via ksapthebreeze.org. Ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Email your questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, or call 409-983-8673 and leave a message 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!
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