• 68°

ASK A COP — What are the rules for stopping for a school bus going the opposite way?

KB from Port Arthur asks: My understanding of a stopped school bus letting off children is you should not stop on a divided highway if you are passing in the opposite direction. Is a four-lane road with a middle turning lane considered a divided highway?

Answer: It’s certainly that time of year and SCHOOL BUSES are running and STOPPING on our roads. As I write these words there will be many who disobey the law in Texas regarding a stopped school bus with flashing RED warning lights. That will, unfortunately, be a decision that will cost them a minimum of $500 up to $1,250 if they are found guilty in a court of law. The law regarding the separate roadway ONLY applies if there is a physical barrier separating the two directions of travel, or something that clearly indicates the dividing sections constructed to impede vehicular traffic. A highway is NOT considered divided no matter how many lanes are on it if there is only a center left turn lane. Please let this serve as a warning to YOU and ALL readers to “Drive Safe” and STOP for school buses that are stopped and red lights are flashing. We can aid our local districts to transport our precious kids safely. My hat goes off to ALL bus drivers who take on the awesome task of transporting and protecting our children year in and year out.

Charles from Beaumont asks: I recently saw a car that was apparently rear ended. I didn’t think the vehicle should be allowed to still be on the road, but I’m not the police. They had wrapped what looked like clear baking wrap around the trunk and lights of the car. I know everybody needs their transportation, but my mouth was open in disbelief at the sight of the condition of this vehicle on the roadway. Is it legal to drive a vehicle on the roadway in a wrecked condition as long as it still runs?

Answer: The one question you must always ask yourself when questioning if a vehicle is legally able to be driven on the roads of Texas: Will this vehicle be able to pass the state inspection in that current condition. From what your described, this vehicle will NOT be able to pass state inspection. If that’s the case then this vehicle is being operated illegally on the roads of Texas and should be parked until the necessary repairs are made.

Neoma from Port Neches asks: My husband and I often travel Twin City Highway and come to a certain intersection. To the right of the traffic signal there is a divider to travel east with a yield sign. Which traffic device are we supposed to obey, the traffic signal or yield sign? My husband always stop because he read where you said you must STOP when at a traffic signal when turning right, but I believe he can yield. Please help us with this confusing issue, should we stop or yield?

Answer: There are so many intersections, and many of the intersections are not the same. Normally at an intersection, motorists must come to a complete STOP before turning right on a RED traffic signal, but this intersection is a bit different. You are correct to obey the yield sign when approaching a traffic device and turning right at the divider. You do NOT have to come to a complete stop as long as you have safely YIELDED to the traffic before continuing eastbound on the roadway. Now with that said, there is nothing wrong if your husband or any motorist decides to STOP at a YIELD sign. I’m kinda like your husband, I advocate to air on the side of caution, better safe than sorry.

Join me, Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. we discuss 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, leave a voicemail at 409-983-8673 or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you see me in public, you can always approach and “Ask A Cop.”