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ASK A COP — When must you exit a vehicle when parked legally in disabled parking?

Lyons from Port Arthur asks: Is there a set time limit one must exit a vehicle after parking legally in a disabled parking spot?

I have a family member who told me they received a ticket because they legally parked in a disabled spot with a placard displayed but didn’t exit the vehicle within 15 minutes of parking. I didn’t believe it was true, but I called the state of Texas Department of Public Safety office and they confirmed that this is true. Is there a time limit to exit your vehicle after parking in a disabled spot even through one has legally parked?

Answer: WOW! I’ve never seen such a sign that limits a motorist exiting a vehicle after parking in a disabled parking spot in Port Arthur or southeast Texas (not saying they don’t exist). Be aware there is signage that prohibits a motorist from remaining in the disabled parking spot past whatever the posted sign parking in a disabled parking spot in the state of Texas. This is not commonly seen or observed by citizens throughout Texas but they do exist. The above-mentioned time limit with signage is the only time restrictions I know that’s applied to disabled parking. I always remind motorists to make sure they check laws and ordinances of any place you plan to visit. Make certain you read all signs with time limits and be certain to adhere to the time restrictions.

Vivian from Port Arthur asks: My son recently purchased a vehicle and now he constantly seems to be adding something new to it every weekend! Just the other day, I saw he put a plastic cover over his license plate. He’s excited about his smoked colored license plate cover, but I told him not too fast because Officer Antoine has said just because a parts store sells it doesn’t mean that it’s legal to have on the roadway. Is it OK for someone to drive with smoke colored license plate covers?

Answer: You are 100 percent correct! Just because you can purchase items either online or at a parts store, doesn’t mean the part will be street legal in Texas. The smoked license plate covers are not legal to be affixed on a license plate on the roads of Texas. Notify your son he’s welcome to affix a clear colored license plate cover, but he needs to remove the smoked cover before he is stopped by law enforcement officers about the same violation.

Lee from Port Arthur Asks: My Dad and I are at odds about the law on U-turns. We need to know that if there’s a NO U-turn sign posted in an area, what’s the distance a driver can travel after the NO U-TURN sign to legally make a U-TURN?

Answer: I don’t know because it’s not stated how far someone is allowed to travel after passing a No U-turn sign, to legally make a U-turn. I believe we are all on the same page that if the sign says No U-turn, we can’t make a U-turn right there. But how far you can go before you can make a U-turn, no one knows! Texas Transportation Code 545.103 states an operator may not turn a vehicle to move in the opposite direction when approaching a curve on the crest of a gray if the vehicle is not visible to the operator of another vehicle approaching from either direction within 500 feet. That’s the extent of what the Texas Transportation Code speaks on U-turns, so all I can advise you if you see a sign on a straight road that says No U-turn, don’t make a U-turn anywhere near that sign!

Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM “The Breeze” every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. You can also tune in via internet at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in and ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Email your questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or voice mail 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!