ASK A COP — What happens when the license plate is upside down?

Published 12:12 am Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Candi from Port Arthur asks: My brother turned his license plates upside down for some reason unknown to any other human being on Earth but him. My brother even claimed he’s spoken to not one but two different police officers and they both said it wasn’t illegal for him to display his license plate upside down. Are we allowed to be on the Texas roadways with our license plate upside down?

Answer: The whole reason why we have license plates on our vehicle is to be able to properly identify the vehicle. Your brother is in violation of the Texas Transportation Code 504.945 about duty on displaying a legible license plate. Now, which police officers your brother conversed with I’m not sure, but I’d need for them to show me in the code where I’m wrong and they’re right. What’s the use of putting a license plate on a vehicle if it doesn’t have to be legible?

Ray from Winnie asks: I have a question regarding the speed limit in a construction zone. I’m aware that the orange reflective sign with a speed limit is the law while workers are present, but are we regulated by the orange reflective sign if there are NO workers present? Do the normal white signs with black lettering take over if workers are not present?

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Answer: When the Texas Department of Transportation is working on a stretch of highway and new orange black/white speed limit signs are erected, when you pass the first sign you are officially in the construction zone. Therefore the orange with the white/black speed limit sign is law. That zone is not designated a construction zone because workers are present in that area. It’s a construction zone because the state Department of Transportation has declared it a construction zone. That means that area is a construction zone whether workers are present or not and that orange black/white speed limit sign is enforceable at ALL times. The penalty for speeding in a construction zone DOUBLES in the state of Texas if you are found guilty in a court of law. But the construction zone sign is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Orville from Port Arthur asks: I am now aware we can carry concealed firearms in our vehicles in Texas from the answer you were providing just a couple weeks ago in your article. Can the weapon have a round or a bullet in the chamber of the weapon?

Answer: The state of Texas allows motorists who are not (1) extra felons, (2) have a weapon in plain sight, (3) a member of an organized gang or (4) not committing a crime higher than class C to carry weapons in the car. Yes, the weapon can be loaded with a round or bullet in the chamber ready to go because I don’t think I know a criminal who will allow you to have a moment to get your weapon ready to defend yourself. In my opinion, there is no sense in carrying a weapon for your defense unless it’s ready to defend you in a moment’s notice.

Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as he discusses the Ask A Cop article. Tune in at Ask your question live at 409-982-0247. 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!