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ASK A COP — Should handicap cards hang from the mirror while driving?

Kenneth from Port Arthur asks: My grandpa has a blue handicap parking permit that he refuses to take off his rear view mirror. Everywhere he goes, the handicap card is still swinging, and of course he thinks he’s right. Officer Antoine, will you find it in your heart to call my grandpa and let him know this is illegal?


Answer: Not only will I call your grandpa, I will also publish your question because the information regarding the blue and red placards apparently isn’t in every household. I wish the Department of Motor Vehicles would administer a one question test before handing out the placard. The one question should be, are you allowed to drive a motor vehicle with the placard you are about to be assigned on the rear view mirror? The placard is ONLY for parking! As far as I know, there are no lanes designated for disabled motorists, so there’s no need to display the placard while driving. Kenneth, I always encourage motorists to read the 4th line on the placard, and it will tell you not to drive with the placard on the rear view mirror. If your grandpa is truly adamant about displaying the placard while driving, explain to him the placard impairs his vision and he’s welcome to request disabled license plates from the Department of Motor Vehicles.


Janette from Port Neches asks: My sister and I were discussing your article the other day, and the pleading in a court proceeding came to be the topic of discussion. Can you help us understand the difference between pleading guilty and no contest in court?


Answer: There are only five states that allow the no contest or nolo contendere, and they are Alaska, California, Florida, Virginia and the great state of Texas. There’s really no difference in the plea of no contest and guilty because when pleading no contest in a criminal court, the punishment will basically have the same effect as if one plead guilty. What this nolo contendere or no contest plea does is afford a defendant to go through the process without having to admit guilt by actually pleading GUILTY!


Brad from Nederland asks: I have a friend that has his third parking light that’s out, but he’s not concerned because the regular brake lights are working just fine. Is that ok since it’s just the 3rd brake light?


Answer: The 3rd brake light is not an optional accessory; it’s now standard, mandatory equipment on all vehicles. The 3rd brake light must be kept in working condition as you would all other brake lights, so tell your friend to get that brake light fixed.


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. Call in live at 409-982-0247. Remember to email 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!