ASK A COP — Are car horns only to be used for warning?
Published 12:03 am Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Frank from Port Arthur asks: You stated before there is a law called “improper use of horn,” meaning the horn system is not used to speak to someone on the road, instead it is a safety device. How about the horn system that is announced when you lock your vehicle with the remote key fob, is that illegal too?
Answer: WOW, what a comeback to that answer. I wouldn’t have thought of that question in a lifetime (smile). This is one of those questions that makes me stop in my tracks, scratch my head and ponder. You are correct, the horn system on a vehicle is a safety/warning device and NOT meant to blow at leisure. Usage other than that can be cited as improper use of a horn. Now you mentioned the horn that can be activated with the key fob can be considered a safety/warning device in itself. It assures the driver his/her vehicle is secured, and it also allows that motorist to activate the horn alarm if someone is uncomfortable about a stranger who is near. So, it is NOT illegal to use your key fob horn to assure you are securing your vehicle.
Anthony from Port Neches asks: How dark can the back windows be on my truck, and how would you know if it is too dark?
Answer: Texas gets HOT, and more and more motorists want to be COOL or look KOOL in their vehicles by installing dark tint. The problem with that is there’s a maximum tint darkness allowed in the state of Texas. The state of Texas allows a maximum of 25 percent light transparency of tint on the front driver and front passenger windows. Now, the state of Texas also allows motorists to tint the rest of the windows as DARK as they can stand it down to 0 percent light transparency. That’s almost like trying to look in a microwave that’s not on (smile). Anthony, I don’t agree with this due to the safety of the police officers and the limited vision of the driver, but I only enforce and abide by the law. I don’t make them. So as long as your tint is in compliance with the AS1 line and the front driver and front passenger windows are no lower than 25 percent light transparency, you can have your tint at whatever percent of light transparency you want on the back windows.
Jammie from Nederland asks: This happened to a friend of mine and me the other day. We were out shopping and looking for a vacant parking spot. The spot we wanted, someone in front of us had it half blocked, exited her vehicle and ran into the store. Now my friend was very upset at the driver’s action, so she exited my vehicle and noticed the other driver left her vehicle running. My friend is very bold, to say the least, and she opened the door to the vehicle. I immediately blew my horn to get her attention. I got out of the car, asked her what she was doing and she said she was fixing to move the car so I can park in the space. I immediately closed the car door and begged her to get back in my car. She feels like she had the right to move the vehicle since it was illegally parked. Officer Antoine, can you help us with this parking issue? Who’s right?
Answer: There are so many things I see wrong with the incident you describe. First, the car wasn’t ILLEGALLY parked. True it wasn’t parked in the correct stall and was blocking other vehicles, but that’s private property and not against the Transportation Code. Could the owner of the private lot have the vehicle towed, ABSOLUTELY! Could the owner of the vehicle that was blocked in call a towing service and have the vehicle towed, ABSOLUTELY! Could your friend enter the vehicle of someone that’s parked bad or illegally without their consent and move it, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Can someone exit their vehicle and leave it running with the keys in the ignition unattended, ABSOLUTELY NOT! I’m glad you were a quick thinker and prevented your friend from committing a crime of criminal trespass. In Texas, it is ILLEGAL to enter someone’s vehicle if the vehicle owner hasn’t given expressed consent to enter their vehicle. Refer to Penal Code 30.05.
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