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ASK A COP — Can I still drive with a missing passenger side mirror?

Kennedy from Vidor asks: I recently had a small fender bender, where my side view mirror hit a garbage can and fell off. Obviously, I didn’t do any damage to the garbage can, but my passenger mirror fell out and I need a replacement. I have to drive to Port Arthur for work and this is my only means of transportation. If I get stopped by the police, will I get a ticket for my missing side view mirror?

 

Answer: I guess we need to make a public announcement for all motorists to “beware of garbage cans sitting on the side of the roadway; they are destroying side view mirrors” (smile). I have good news for you. If your driver’s side view mirror is in place, you are NOT in violation of the state of Texas Transportation Code. In the state of Texas all motorists are required to have at least one operable side view or one operable rear view mirror, where the driver can see behind them. Vehicles are manufactured with one rear view mirror and two side view mirrors. To be in compliance with the state of Texas, at least one of those mirrors have to be attached and operable.

 

Mary Ann from Opelousas asks: I visit Port Arthur often, and oftentimes my family and I find ourselves comparing law differences in Texas and Louisiana. In Louisiana, the police are very strict concerning the windshield wiper/headlight law. In Louisiana, when you turn on your windshield wipers, you must turn on your car headlights. Is that the same law here in Texas?

 

Answer: You are correct in knowing that each state law may differ no matter how close the states are to each other. In the great state of Texas, there is NO law that states if you turn on windshield wipers your headlights must be on. I understand a motorist will turn on his or her wipers during inclement weather conditions. In Texas, there are three events that mandate the use of headlights: first, 30 minutes after sunset; second, 30 minutes before sunrise; and third, if visibility is less than a 1,000 feet, which equates to about three city blocks. Mary, with that said, it’s not a bad idea to turn on the headlights when it’s raining.

 

Paul from Port Arthur asks: I have a small sports car that’s pretty fast. Let me clear the air, I’m not a speeder, I just like my car. My question is, let’s say the speed limit is 50 mph and I’m at a traffic light that’s red. When the light turns green, is it illegal to quickly get up to 50 mph?

 

Answer: I was impressed to hear you’re not a speeder, even though you have a sports car. If you’re stopped at a traffic signal that’s red and it turns green, as long as you “DO NOT” do what’s commonly known as burn rubber from a stopped position, there’s no law governing how fast you can get up to 50 mph, as long as it can be done SAFELY! So, Paul, enjoy your sports car, drive safely and always remember speeding kills.

 

Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m.  as Officer Antoine discusses the Ask A Cop article. Feel free to call in and 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 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!