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ASK A COP: When is it safe to pass a police car on the roadway?

Uncle Glen from Beaumont asks: Let’s say a police officer is driving in the right lane of Highway 69 and the speed limit is 75 and the police unit is going like 60, but believe me when I tell you “NO ONE” wants to pass the police car in the left hand lane. It started to look like a funeral procession because no one (including me) was passing the police unit. Is it a good practice to stay behind the police vehicle, and do police officers travel below the speed limit to find some violators?

 

Answer: I understand the crossroad that you and other motorists experience when considering passing a marked police unit on the roadway. The very first thing I need you and other motorists to consider is “am I certain what the posted speed limit is where I’m traveling?” You advised the posted speed limit was 75 mph and the police unit was going 60 mph and no one wanted to pass. Well just like any other vehicle on the roadway, a police vehicle has the right to travel below the posted speed limit in the right lane. This is not a trap or a police tactic to catch violators. Any motorist may pass a police unit that’s traveling under the posted speed limit without fear of being stopped as long as you’re certain you’re traveling at or below the posted speed limit.

 

Paul from Port Arthur asks: I have a small sports car that’s pretty fast. Let me clear the air, I’m not a speeder, I just like my car. Let’s say the speed limit is 50 mph and I’m at a traffic light that’s red. When the light turns green, is it illegal to quickly get up to 50 mph?

 

Answer: It’s amazing that an expensive luxury car’s best feature on any commercial is how FAST it goes. If you’re stopped at a traffic signal that’s red and it turns green, as long as you “DO NOT” do what’s commonly known as burning rubber from a stopped position, there’s no law governing how fast you can get up to 50 mph. As long as it can be done SAFELY! So, Paul, enjoy your sports car, drive safely and always remember speeding kills.

 

Cal from Port Arthur asks: My grandson was getting on me for not setting my parking brake when I exited my vehicle. He even went on to say I could be ticketed, or arrested if I don’t set my parking brake before leaving my car. I asked him where did he hear such foolishness, and his answer was from driving class. I’ve never read this before. Is it against the law in Texas to exit your vehicle and not set the parking brake even if you turned the vehicle off first?

 

Answer: Your grandson appears to have been very attentive in my class and has absorbed some knowledge that you don’t have. Cal, your grandson is 100 percent correct to say that in Texas, it is illegal to park your vehicle without setting the parking brake. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a flat or incline plain surface, you MUST set your parking brake upon exiting your vehicle in Texas. Failure to do so could result in a citation or arrest for the violation.

 

Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as he discusses the article printed in The News. Tune in at ksapthebreeze.org and call in your 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!