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ASK A COP — Blue placard is the ticket to parking in handicapped spot

Winnie from Port Arthur asks: I am a legal holder of disabled parking plates and placard. I recently purchased a new vehicle, which of course will not display my disabled parking privileges, and to top it off I can NOT find my blue placard. I have limited walking ability, so I need to park as close to my destination as possible. Can I continue to park in the disabled parking spot if I don’t have my plates in and I can’t produce the placard?

 

Answer: Sorry to hear you’re in the middle of this dilemma that you’re facing. The key to a disabled parking spot is being able to DISPLAY the right to be in that spot. Winnie, at this time you are NOT able to produce the placard nor license plate that gives you the right to park there, so according to the law at this time you can NOT park in the disabled parking spot. Even though you have limited walking ability, you can be cited if you are found in any disabled parking spot without the proper plates/placard. You can go to the department of Motor Vehicles and request another placard. Most time officers issue a citation for parking in a disabled parking spot when no one is in the vehicle.

 

Hershel from Port Arthur asks: My son was driving his friend’s car and he was stopped by a police officer for a violation he committed. But while addressing the reason he was stopped, it was also discovered the vehicle didn’t have insurance. May I inform you the owner of the vehicle was in the passenger seat during the entire encounter. My question is if the owner was present, why did my son get the ticket for no insurance? This doesn’t seem fair or right to me. It wasn’t my son’s responsibility to insure the vehicle. Can you clear this up for me?

 

Answer: I’m sure we’ve all done something similar to this, driven someone’s vehicle without assuring the vehicle is currently covered with at least the state minimum liability insurance. Taking this step for granted could cause us to be in the same position your son was in. The reason why your son was cited is because he OPERATED a motor vehicle without insurance, not that he owned a vehicle that wasn’t insured. That’s how the charge will read. When we drive someone else’s vehicle, we temporarily assume responsibility. The officer couldn’t write the ticket to the owner because he wasn’t the driver. I get that request oftentimes because someone was doing a favor for a passenger. The driver is cited and passenger asks if I could write them the ticket. Of course NOT, that would be falsifying a legal document. So let this be a lesson to us all when using someone else’s vehicle, ask for the insurance card before you operate their vehicle.

 

Sam from Port Arthur asks: My wife is recovering from a very hard fought fight with cancer. As for now, thanks to God, the cancer is in remission. During my wife’s cancer fight, her driver’s license expired and she’s ready to start driving again. Her license is about a year past the expiration date. What does she need to do and will she have to start all over again since it’s been so long since her license expired?

 

Answer: I rejoice with you and your wife’s victorious fight against cancer. I don’t know of a family today that this disease hasn’t touched, taken a loved one or caused a loved one temporary illness that was life threatening. I lost my mother, the very jewel to my heart, three years ago (seems like yesterday) to the disease of pancreatic cancer, so I’m elated to hear your wife is doing well. Sam, your wife’s Texas driver license is currently expired and the expiration date was approximately 1 year ago. The state of Texas allows a licensed driver to renew the license up to two years after the expiration of their license. The state of Texas will also allow for a license holder to renew the license up to two years before the expiration date.

 

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