ASK A COP — Is it legal to have a curse word on a license plate?

Published 12:45 pm Monday, June 14, 2021

Jeb from Nederland asks: My wife and I constantly pray for our earthly guardians, because we know if someone doesn’t care about a police officer’s life, they darn sure don’t give a penny about our lives. My son and I were arguing about license plate frames on his truck, which has a nice four-letter word that starts with an “F. I don’t like his plates, so he tells me I’m old fashioned and need to get more hip with the time. Is this just a horrible moral decision or is it illegal to display a curse word on his license plate frame?

Answer: The fact that your son is displaying offensive gestures and curse words on his vehicle is illegal and he could be cited or arrested on a class C charge of disorderly conduct in the state of Texas. Jeb, many Texans are not aware that “No cursing words” — whether printed, displayed or vocalized — are allowed in public in the state of Texas.

Tim from Port Arthur asks – Lets say I’m traveling on a two-lane road (one lane going each direction) where the speed limit is 70 mph and the vehicle in front of you is traveling 60 mph. Would it be legal or illegal if I accelerate momentarily above the speed limit with enough clearance to safely change lanes to any oncoming vehicle? Is this behavior considered “OK” in Texas or would I be breaking the law?

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Answer: Speeding is one of the most common crimes that most drivers commit whether knowingly or unknowingly. Simply put: “Speed Kills!” As licensed drivers of motor vehicles, we should all be aware of the speed of the vehicles we are in control of at all times. Our vehicles will only do what we command it to do. My rule of thumb that I practice when driving is “if I’m passing other vehicles on the road way, I need to check my speed.” One of two things will be for sure, either they are driving way under the speed limit or I’m driving over the posted limit. If you decide to pass a vehicle, you are allowed to pass within the maximum posted speed limit. So if the vehicle in front of you is going 60 mph and the speed limit is 70 mph, you don’t have to feel like a turtle on the road. Because state law allows you in this situation to still go up to 10 mph faster than the vehicle you are passing. I’m not certain your age, but those of us who been on this Earth a few days can remember when the maximum posted speed on our highway was 55. The slogan then was “55 and stay alive.” Today, 55 mph on our highways is a JOKE. Many drivers feel they will get run over if they drive slow, so they just join the crowd and SPEED! We all know we can’t control another driver. It’s a full time job keeping our driving behavior is check.

Jack from Groves asks – When I was in California visiting relatives, my nephew was showing me the sights in the Los Angeles area. In the process he crossed five lanes of traffic to make a turn. He was stopped by the highway patrol for crossing too many lanes to make a turn. He was told the state law would only allow you to cross two lanes to make a right turn. I remember it because, I paid his ticket so he would not get in trouble with his mom. Does the state of Texas have a law limiting the number of lanes you can cross for a turn or is it just called “reckless driving?”

Answer: There is no law in the Texas Transportation Code limiting the number of lanes you can change. As long as you can “SAFELY” change lanes, drivers are permitted to do so in the state of Texas. All drivers intending on changing lanes must signal their intent to change lanes. In my opinion, I don’t believe that just making your signal flash “once” is enough to warn other motorists of your intention to change lanes. So as long as you can SAFELY change lanes, it OK in Texas. Lastly, you should receive the UNCLE of the YEAR award from your nephew, because you actually paid for his ticket so he wouldn’t get in trouble with his MOM!

Join Officer Rickey Antoine on KSAP 96.9 FM every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. as he discusses the newly released Ask A Cop article. Tune in via internet at Call in questions live at 409-982-0247. Remember to email your questions to, 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!