ASK A COP — Is it illegal to eat while driving?

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, November 10, 2021

From the desk of Chief of Police Tim Duriso: On behalf of all the brave men and women at the Port Arthur Police Department, we would like to take a moment to say “THANK YOU” to ALL of the veterans of our United States of America Armed Forces for your unselfish sacrificial service for this nation.

During this Veterans Day, we salute you, brave honorable retired soldiers.

Helen from Bridge City asks: I have a friend I regularly carpool with. It seems like lunchtime when she is behind the wheel, she’s always eating, to the point she keeps a trash bag in her vehicle because of the constant stops to fast food establishments. Her driving scares the wits out of me every time she gets behind the wheel. Is it illegal to eat while driving?

Answer: First thought that came to mind is that YOU need to invest in a different carpool partner. Saving $$$ for gas is not to be compared with saving your LIFE. Unfortunately at this time in the great state of Texas, eating while driving behind the wheel of an motor vehicle is totally legal. Although I believe eating while driving is totally a dangerous act to partake in while operating a motor vehicle. Even given this, presently there’s no law against eating while driving.

Kalvin from Nederland asks: I’m 23 years old and have been a licensed driver since I was 16. I’m in the market of purchasing a new vehicle and I love sport cars in bright colors. I must admit have a love for fast cars. I seem to get stopped quite often by law enforcement. My concern is I’m leaning to believe the color of my car attracts police attention. I’ve had yellow and red sport cars in the past. Is there a color on a vehicle that’s less attractive to police officers than others?

Answer: The question you present is an old myth or wives’ tale about law enforcement officers targeting motorists who operate shiny or colorful cars. To answer your question, “YES,” law enforcement officers are attracted to the color of the vehicle committing a CRIME, like speeding or disregarding traffic signals. There’s nothing wrong with being in love with sport cars, as long as you drive your sports car within the posted speed limit on the roadway. Let’s not be so eager to point fingers and start taking personal responsibility for our driving habits. Being stopped by law enforcement has nothing to do solely with the color of your vehicle and everything to do with how you are operating said vehicle. I encourage you to buy whatever color vehicle you desire; just adhere to the state of Texas Transportation Code. If you see me on the road, stop and let me check out your new car!

Collins from Port Arthur asks: I’m having a discussion with my friend about expired registration stickers on apartment complexes. Of course it’s private property, but can the apartment complex have my vehicle towed just for an expired registration sticker??

Answer: Apartment complex communities are private properties, therefore; they can set and establish whatever policies they want to declare and enforce on their property. Most complexes will require your stickers be current because they don’t want their complex parking lot to turn into a vehicle salvage yard. It would do you some good to read the lease signed upon moving in, I’m sure it’s there! Again apartment complexes can establish their own rules. I have even heard locally there is a complex that will have a vehicle towed if they back into the parking space instead of pulling in to a parking space. What’s strange is that it’s proven safer to back in and pull out, than to pull in and back out! You have choices you can either comply or find a different location to reside.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the CREW: Stephen Buzzard Boots Mosley, Lelo mouth of Hwy 69/73 Washington and 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. as they discuss the “Ask A Cop” column. Call in your question live at 409-982-0247 or make a text comment at 409-748-6106. Email your questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 and leave a 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 always approach and “Ask A Cop!”