ASK A COP — How long does a turn signal have to be on for legal turns?

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Morris from Port Arthur asks: As I drive on the roads it’s true as you said on many occasions that many don’t use their signal, but when they use their signal they put it on and immediately change lanes. Should it blink at least three times before making a movement to another lane?


Answer: The state of Texas doesn’t set a number of times a lane change indicator has to blink before actually changing lanes, but it does speak of changing lanes safely. You can signal lane change intent and you may be able to immediately change lanes because it’s safe to do so, or it may take you several minutes until it’s safe to change lanes while your signal is still on. Remember, when lane change can be done SAFELY is the key word.

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Cal from Port Neches asks: My cousin has a car that he is making really cool changes to. One of the changes he has made was to smoke out his tail lights, and I kinda remember you mentioning that being NOT cool in my Drivers Ed class. He said he would change the tail light covers if they’re illegal. Is having smoked (dark) tail lights legal in Texas?


Answer: According to federal regulations, the tail light lens are the darkness they can legally be when the vehicle is rolled out of the factory brand new. The lights, both front and rear, are made by the manufacturer to meet this safety standard. An alternate or additional material, particularly something dark, would impair its effectiveness. The problem doesn’t come when we install those illegal parts on our vehicle, but rather when we operate our vehicle with the aftermarket parts on the roads of Texas. Remember, your cousin is totally fine to smoke out his tail lights, as long as he doesn’t operate that vehicle on the roads of Texas. Any device that impairs the required effectiveness of headlamps, tail lamps, reflectors, etc is prohibited.


Howard from Nederland asks – My question is regarding a bicycle helmets in Texas. I have a 8-year-old daughter and of course we bought her a bicycle for Christmas. Does Texas require 8-year-old children to wear a helmet while riding a bike? My friend in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said it’s the law there that everyone under the age of 12 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Can you help me?


Answer: Your friend in Louisiana is correct. It is Louisiana state law that children under 12 MUST wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. But Howard you are living in Texas and the great state of Texas Does NOT have a helmet law regarding bicycle usage. It doesn’t matter if the child is on private property or a road, the state of Texas doesn’t mandate helmet use. Now you being a concerned parent should enact the house of Howard law if you want to safeguard you child, meaning you should/can require your child to wear the helmet when they are riding a bicycle. You can enforce the house of Howard rule as long as you desire. Also you can check your city ordinance to see if they address helmet use while bicycling.



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, 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!”