• 68°

ASK A COP — What is the minimum speed for traveling Highway 69?

On behalf of the Chief of Police and all of the proud employees of the Port Arthur Police Department, we would like to extend to all of our citizens we serve and protect, as well our weekly readers, a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

I understand this year we’re in the mist of a pandemic, so I’m urging ALL citizens to take precautions and guidelines that are set by city of Port Arthur, Jefferson County and Center for Disease Control and Prevention when gathering and traveling during this holiday.

We are encouraging all motorists to be cautious while on the roads because the National Safety Council estimates 485 people may die on U.S. roads this Thanksgiving holiday period, and we surely don’t want any of our citizens to be counted in that number. Remember to wear personal protective equipment like gloves, masks and wash or sanitize your hands often,

Margarette from Bridge City asks: You mentioned a minimum speed limit on Highway 69. I haven’t seen a sign giving that information.

Answer: There are no minimum speed limit signs posted on Highway 69. In the recent past, there was a minimum speed limit sign on highways in Texas and it was 45 mph. I still today hold to that standard. The Texas Transportation Code 545.363 states an operator may not drive so slowly as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law. The posted speed limit on Highway 69 is 75 mph. If in optimum conditions you are not traveling at least 45 mph in the RIGHT lane, you will be impeding the traffic flow.

Tina from Groves asks: My husband is not totally reformed on his bad driving habits, and I’m the least bit excited when he drives especially on the highway. He’s more conscientious about laws than he’s ever been, because there was a time when I wouldn’t ride with him. My husband is a habitual tailgater. If he wants to pass another vehicle on the highway, he gets too close to them to intimidate the other driver to move over. Did I mention he drives a big truck? This has me pulling my hair out. How close can you be to a vehicle before you violate the driving too close law?

Answer: Once our knowledge about the laws on the road is better, we drive better, which will in turn make our roads safer. Now Tina, tell your husband tailgating is only OK as long as he’s in the parking lot of a football game, either high school, collegiate, or professional sports team like the champions, the currently undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers (smile)! Your husband’s driving behavior on the highways where the speed limits are higher, are very dangerous and should be stopped immediately. There’s no set footage or distance given by the state for traveling on the roads of Texas, only that it’s done at a safe distance. I hope this gets your husband’s attention, that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions account for approximately 23 percent of all motor vehicle crashes, resulting in approximately 2,000 deaths and 950,000 injuries.

Mable from Groves asks: I have a parking problem on my street every day. When I attempt to back out of my driveway, there’s a vehicle parked across the street directly behind my driveway. I’ve spoken with a neighbor about the parking before. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble because they have parked badly. What can be done and what violation is this?

Answer: I must advise you that your neighbors didn’t do anything wrong when they parked on the other side of the road behind your driveway. I understand the stress and difficulty it may require you to be careful exiting your driveway, but the law doesn’t require motorists to park any different. Your best conclusion would be to continue to speak with your neighbors, not demanding, but you would appreciate if they don’t park there because you don’t want to damage anyone’s vehicle. Keep in mind, Mable, if you back into one of those vehicles you can be cited for unsafe backing. With that said, don’t back out if it can’t be done so safely.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. as Officer Rickey Antoine discusses the Ask A Cop column. Feel free to ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Email your questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, 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!