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ASK A COP — What can be done about bully drivers in left lanes?

Gail from Port Arthur asks: I travel frequently on Highway 69 and always observe vehicles that are going the speed limit in the left lane. Without fail there will be vehicles very close on their bumper attempting to force them over to the left lane. This makes me uncomfortable to have someone on my bumper trying to force me to speed or move over to the right lane. What can be done about these bully drivers on Highway 69?

 

Answer: STOP regularly driving in the left lane on the Highway. The left lane is designated for passing and turning left. Gail, the right lane is the regular driving lane. When you’re not about to pass another vehicle and you’re not turning left, you should “strive to drive in the right lane.” You said that cars are almost intimidating other vehicles over to the right lane from the left lane. Even if you’re driving the speed limit, you should “strive to drive in the right lane.” We appreciate you driving the posted speed limit or under on the roadway, but keep in mind it’s not your responsibility or duty as a motorist to monitor the traffic flow. If someone decides to go over the posted speed limit, that’s on them. I believe if motorists would learn to drive in the right lane, a lot of the tailgating would stop!

 

Ralphie from Nederland asks: I was at a party house and my vehicle was blocked in. So my cousin, who parked on the side of the road, gave me his keys and said I could drive his car. Of course, now my first question to him is “Where’s your insurance card?” He told me where I could find the insurance card. I started to drive down the road when I noticed something was wrong. The speedometer was not moving. It was stuck on 0. I never thought to inquire if his speedometer works. Here I go into a slight panic mode because I can’t tell my speed and surely can’t afford a ticket. Upon my return to the party, I told him I’d never drive his vehicle again until he gets the speedometer repaired. He told me he has a GPS and that’s how he monitors his speed while driving. Is this even legal? Can you operate a vehicle without a working speedometer?

 

Answer: I can imagine the shock of driving a loaned vehicle and suddenly realizing the speedometer isn’t working. The good news for you is you weren’t violating any law in Texas for operating a motor vehicle with a nonworking speedometer. Texas doesn’t require that a vehicle must have a working speedometer. So your cousin using his GPS to gauge his speed is an alternate method, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The speedometer is not an inspected item in Texas.

 

Hershel from Port Arthur asks: My son was driving his friend’s car and was stopped by a police officer for a violation he committed. 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? It wasn’t my son’s responsibility to insure the vehicle. Can you clear this up for me?

 

Answer: The reason why your son was cited is because he was the OPERATOR of a motor vehicle without insurance, not that he owned the 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.

 

Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. as Antoine discusses the Ask A Cop article. You can also tune in at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in your question 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!