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ASK A COP — PAPD shares tips for safer shopping this year

Jimmy from Port Arthur asks: With this pandemic and holiday season being in full swing, can you give a few safety tips on driving and entering and exiting your vehicle while shopping?

 

Answer: We are in the middle of the biggest holiday shopping season, and our store and parking lots are packed with customers. During this pandemic, we are ALL mandated to wear masks in most locations. The masks cover half of our face, so expressions and faces are hidden. Now, we have happy shoppers and criminals mixed among each other without being able to properly identify them. So all citizens are asked to take extra precautions when driving and entering or exiting vehicles.

Ladies, never leave your purse on front seat of your vehicle (any seat in that case). Also ladies, if possible, leave your purse at home or secured in the trunk. If you carry your purse, strap your purse across your body, or have it on your shoulder. If shopping at night, park in well-lit areas. If possible, don’t shop alone. Never leave packages unattended or on the seats of your vehicle. Have your keys in your hand before exiting the store. You won’t have to dig for them if you need a quick entry into your vehicle. You will also have a key fob to sound the alarm to rid off strangers. Make a note of where you parked and avoid parking next to vehicles that are much bigger than yours. Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Make sure you lock your vehicle. When approaching your vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings and lastly, don’t allow any stranger to approach you. This is absolutely a must during this pandemic.

 

Whitney from Beaumont asks: How can you stop a car for speeding that’s coming your direction from the rear and front of your police car? I’m perplexed on how this is possible because I’ve seen you do this. I know all police units have radars, so explain how this radar can clock cars from front and back?

 

Answer: I must say that speeding kills. The posted speed limit signs are THE LAW not a SUGGESTION. In Texas, speeding is actually a crime and it’s definitely not something we should treat lightly because, as I stated, speeding kills. Approximately one-third of traffic fatalities recorded on the state and national levels are speed-related. What’s interesting is the mindset that some have that it’s more acceptable for someone to lose their life by a car than a gun. The No. 1 job of any law enforcement agency is life preservation, and more people in the state of Texas are killed annually by motor vehicle crashes than violent crimes.

Now when you consider that at least one-third of traffic fatalities are speed-related, hopefully it gives you a better understanding of “why.” I encourage motorists to adopt this motto, “If I leave late, I’m going to arrive late.” The radars used by law enforcers are very sophisticated and can track various vehicles’ speeds, whether moving or stationary. There are antennas mounted in the front and rear of police vehicles that are able to detect vehicles passing and coming towards the police vehicle. They are able to track your speed over a mile away. So when you finally see the patrol unit, have said “UH-OH” and want to hit your brakes, chances are they have already been monitoring your vehicle speed.

 

Lino from Port Arthur asks: I recently lost my whole wallet, searched everywhere and can’t find it. I am a hardworking man who works every day and does not have much down time to get my license from the driver’s license department. Since I do have a good driver license that’s not expired, can I drive my car until I get my license?

 

Answer: You advised you are a current Texas driver’s license holder, who is no longer in possession of the license. Well I’m sorry to inform you, you’re in violation of state law if you operate your vehicle without your license in your possession. Anytime you drive a vehicle on the roads of Texas, you MUST have your driver’s license with you no matter the distance you’re traveling. Many motorists say they were just going to make a quick run, but wind up encountering law enforcement and can’t identify themselves, or provide a driver’s license when demanded by law enforcement officers.

 

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