ASK A COP — Flashing yellow arrow is for turning when safe

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Thomas from Port Arthur asks: There’s a new traffic turn signal on Memorial Boulevard and 39th Street that seems to continually flash yellow. I know yellow means caution because the light will soon turn RED. So if the light is already flashing yellow, when does it turn RED? I’ve heard you say on your radio that 39th at Memorial is a very dangerous intersection. I don’t want to be involved in a crash at this intersection or any other intersection, but I’m confused about this intersection and this flashing yellow light. How do we deal with the flashing yellow lights?

Answer: At the intersection of Memorial Boulevard at 39th Street, if you haven’t been that direction, the state installed new traffic signal lights. The turning lanes at this intersection are flashing yellow arrows. It may appear the caution flashing turn arrows are operating continuously but that’s not true. The yellow flashing turn arrows gives motorists the ability to turn as long as the turn can be safely conducted. Thomas, you will know the flashing yellow turn arrow is about to turn red when it stops flashing and the green light for the straight traffic turns yellow. At this time all traffic lights for that direction will turn red at the same time.

 Charlene from Nederland asks: I often hear vehicles on the roadway in my neighborhood with very loud music that is very nerve racking. I’m sure there’s a law against how loud someone can play music from a vehicle. What is the law against playing loud music from a car?

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Answer: I’m sure many readers can identify with the issue of loud music from a motor vehicle. There is a city ordinance in Port Arthur regarding loud music from a motor vehicle. The ordinance states you cannot play music to the degree that someone can hear any audible tone emitted from your motor vehicle over 50 feet away. That will be approximately two vehicle lengths away from your location. A lot of people always tell me they have factory stereo systems in their vehicle and they don’t have a box or any aftermarket sound in their vehicles. That factory system could easily provide a tone that would put the driver in violation of the city of Port Arthur ordinance. Keep in mind you don’t have to actually understand clearly the words in the song. All that’s needed to be in violation is to hear the sound. Charlene, check with your city to see if there’s an ordinance against loud noise from a motor vehicle.

Ricky from Nederland asks: My friend has a vehicle and the headlights don’t work. He only drives in the daytime because his lights don’t come on at night. Is it OK for him to drive his car in the daytime only since there’s no need for his lights?

Answer: That vehicle should not be driven on the roads of Texas until the necessary repairs are made to the headlamps. I know it seems to be an easy fix to refrain from driving at night because other than the headlamps, everything on the vehicle is operating correctly. But your friend is in violation of Texas Transportation Code if he only drives in the daytime. Headlamps are a state inspected item, and therefore should not be taken lightheartedly. Consider this, your friend cannot assure himself that darkness will not catch him away from home.

Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as Antoine discusses the newly released Ask A Cop article in The News. You can also tune in at Call in and ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Email questions to, 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!