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ASK A COP — Has COVID-19 caused a vehicle registration sticker shortage?

MJ from Port Arthur asks: My truck registration is due to expire at the end of September, and I’ve already received my renewal notice. I’m hearing that even after being inspected, I won’t be able to acquire a new registration sticker for my truck’s windshield because they’re in short supply due to the coronavirus. If this is true, what’s to prevent me from being cited for an expired registration even though the truck was inspected, but no replacement could be obtained?

Answer: The worldwide Pandemic COVID-19 has readjusted just about all aspects of our lives, and the vehicle registration process in the state of Texas was not immune to said adjustment. MJ, I have good news for you, apparently that was a void rumor about Texas being short on registration stickers because of COVID-19. You can also get your registration sticker by mailing your registration back in, online or you can stop in local places to get your sticker since you have your vehicle inspected already and you’re not 30 days past your expiration date.

Dale from Port Neches asks: Is there a law in Texas regarding following too close to a police vehicle when it’s operating with its lights on?

Answer: Who and why would someone want to follow a police unit that’s operating in emergency mode with its light and siren on? Most people want to get out of the way, breathe a sigh of relief and are grateful that police unit wasn’t trying to stop them! Dale, there’s no law in the Texas Transportation Code that specifically addresses following to close to a police unit operating in emergency mode, but there’s a law that prohibits following too close to a fire apparatus or ambulance. Texas Transportation Code 545.407 states a driver may not follow a fire apparatus or ambulance closer than 500 feet when they have their emergency lights activated. Chances are if a police unit is operating in emergency mode (lights and siren), they are legally traveling above the posted speed limit. If you’re following the police unit you’re most likely SPEEDING! Once again, police units are omitted from this law probably because police units don’t have a problem with motorists wanting to follow.

Racheal from Port Arthur asks: I believe my cousin is very negligent when it comes to her vehicle maintenance. She is currently riding around with two donut tires on her car. I told her I didn’t think that was legal. Is it illegal to drive a car with more than one spare tire?

Answer: A donut spare tire should not be driven more than 70 miles or faster than 50 mph. Any speed or distance past that, the tire is not guaranteed for safe driving on our roads. I did not find any or do not know of any law that regulates how many spare tires a motorist can have on any one vehicle. Your cousin needs to keep in mind, even though riding on two spare tires may not be illegal, it’s not the safest means of transportation. That donut spare tire is only temporary solution.

Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM “The Breeze” every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as he discusses the Ask A Cop article. Ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Remember to email questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, 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!