ASK A COP: How much tint is too much tint for legal Texas driving?

Published 12:44 pm Monday, November 22, 2021

From the desk of Chief of Police Tim Duriso: I, along with the hard working staff of the city of Port Arthur Police Department, send out our warmest “Happy Thanksgiving” wishes to all of our citizens and visitors we provide services to daily. I understand as a community we have ALL been affected in some manner as we are entering our second year of a pandemic, so I wish all will come together with friends and family on this Thanksgiving holiday and realize just how blessed we are to have loved ones. I’m thankful.”

Anthony from Port Neches asks: Is it legal to tint my whole front windshield, and how dark can the back windows be on my truck be? How would you know if it is too dark?

Answer: It’s absolutely ILLEGAL to tint below the AS1 line on the front windshield, so that means it’s illegal to tint the whole front windshield. 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 motorist to tint the rest of the windows as DARK as they can stand it down to 0% light transparency. That’s almost like trying to look in a microwave that’s not on (smile). 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 for the front driver and front passenger windows, you can have your tint at whatever percent of light transparency you want.

Leroy from Port Arthur asks: I read this article every Wednesday and have found it to be a great source of information about the laws related to driving in Texas. Is it a law in Texas that everyone walking must make themselves visible to the oncoming cars on the road? Too often I’ve had a few near misses of people walking at night, especially in areas where there’s no lighting. Why would someone walk at night in dark clothing? Is there a law in Texas that says after a certain time, persons walking the streets of Texas should be dressed in some type of material that is more visible than black or navy blue? My argument is this: if someone driving a vehicle or a bicycle must have lighting to be on the roads, shouldn’t walkers have to take a safety precaution as well?

Answer: Pedestrian safety should be a major concern for everyone. At some point in your day, we are ALL PEDESTRIANS. We walk or use whatever means we have to get from one place to another. So, we should all share in the safety concerns of those walking on our roads, as well as private parking lots. Most people aren’t aware that 5,376 pedestrians were killed as a result of a traffic crash in the United States in 2015, and the great state of Texas unfortunately accounted for 550 of the 5,376 pedestrian fatalities in 2015. There is no clothing law that requires pedestrians to dress in more visible or reflective colors at nighttime in Texas. To all pedestrians, which includes everyone, make sure you take extra precautions when walking and ASSUME nothing. Only cross the road when it’s safe to do so, not simply because you are supposed to have the right of way. I think everyone should have some type of bright or reflective material/clothing to warn motorists there’s a pedestrian on the road. Pedestrians should always think about their safety at ALL times, and YES that includes YOU!

Dave from Nederland asks: My friend loves his fast sports car. He’s actually a speed junkie and loves to display what his vehicle can do. His favorite activity is making street tattoos. Most people like my parents call it burning rubber. He is not speeding while tattooing the street, but he and I are on different ends of the street here because I believe this is an illegal behavior. He’s confident he is right because he’s never been stopped by the police. Is it illegal to tat the streets in Texas?

Answer: I know this driving behavior as burning rubber, too. Unlike your friend, I know this behavior is illegal in the state of Texas. The Texas Transportation Code 545.402 states, “An operator may not begin movement of a stopped, standing, or parked vehicle unless the movement can be made safely.” Dave, I’m sure any reasonable or prudent person would conclude this type of driving is not safe. Burning rubber or street tattooing is illegal, dangerous and defaces the city streets in neighborhoods or highways. Burning rubber is a very dangerous act that places everyone on the roads, businesses and homes at risk because the driver can lose control of the vehicle with the pedal stuck at full throttle. Thanks for reaching out. Hopefully your friend and others can change this illegal act before someone gets injured or killed.

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!”