ASK A COP — Can you U-turn across yellow diagonal lines?

Published 1:55 pm Monday, October 11, 2021

James from Port Neches asks — Officer Antoine, I drive to work at a refinery in Port Arthur and must go through the intersection of Highways 82 and 87. I always notice motorists who don’t have time for the turn signal go forward and make a U-turn across yellow diagonal lines in the road. Can they get a ticket for doing this, because I have done it on a couple occasions myself?

Answer: This is a very busy intersection. If drivers don’t obey the traffic control devices, it’s a dangerous intersection to drive through. As long as drivers are signaling their intent to change lanes and can perform said action safely, it is permissible to change lanes to go straight in Texas at an intersection. The VIOLATION comes where the motorists are making U-turns across the yellow stripped area. We are NOT permitted to stop on or turn across any yellow or white diagonally stripped area on the roads in Texas. The U-turn may be legal, but turning across the stripped area is NOT legal in Texas.

Mike from Port Arthur asks: My wife and I are going on our third round of debate over whether or not it’s illegal to operate a vehicle with a burned out light bulb? I know many readers will say, of course it is, but let me finish with the question. What if I inspected my vehicle lights before beginning to my destination and the bulb went out without me knowing it went out? Can I still be given a ticket and I didn’t even know the bulb was out? Does it make a difference if I knew the bulb was out or not to ticket a driver? Please help me prove my wife wrong (LOL). I’ll never hear the end of this if I’m wrong.

Answer: The debate between you and your wife about a bulb that is out on your vehicle is surely a violation of the Transportation Code of Texas. The Texas Transportation Code is much different than ANY other Code in Texas. With the Texas Transportation Code, culpable mental state is not applicable, meaning we don’t have to show your intent was to speed or that you intentionally drove a vehicle with a bulb blown out. We just have to show you operated a vehicle in violation. Law enforcement officers hear all the time from motorists, “Officer, I didn’t mean to. I didn’t know. I wasn’t aware .I wasn’t trying to.” None of these statements release you from the liability for a violation of the Texas Transportation Code. I’m not quite sure what your answer was in the debate, but if you said it wasn’t a violation, if I were you, I’d go invest in a few pair of ear plugs.

Donald from Groves asks: Have you or anyone tried to get you a weekly spot on one of the TV stations?

Answer: I’ve tried this path before with the local television stations, but at the end of the day I was greeted with a closed door. It’s all about educating our motoring communities so it can be a safer place to drive.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and Stephen Buzzard Boots Mosley, Lelo mouth of Hwy 69/73 Washington & Tejas Lil Man Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tune in via the Internet at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in a question live at 409-982-0247. You can ask a question via text at 409-748-6106. Email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 for voice mail 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.”