ASK A COP — Port Arthur Police offer tips for safe shopping

Published 2:04 pm Monday, December 13, 2021

This time of year, more than any other, we have happy shoppers and criminals mixed among each other without being able to properly identify each.

So all citizens are asked to take extra precautions when driving and entering or exiting vehicles.

Here are just a few safety tips to consider:

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Ladies, never leave your purse on front seat of your vehicle (any seat in that case). Also ladies, if possible, leave your purse at home or secure it in the trunk.

If you carry your purse, strap your purse across your body or have it on your shoulder.

If shopping at night, park in well-lighted areas. If possible, don’t shop alone.

Never leave packages unattended or on the seats of your vehicle. Have your keys in your hand before exiting the store, so you don’t have to dig looking for them if you need a quick entry into your vehicle, or if you have a key fob sound the alarm to rid off strangers.

Make a note of where you parked, and avoid parking next to vehicles that are much bigger than yours.

Don’t carry large amounts of cash.

Make sure you secure (lock) your vehicle. When approaching your vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings. And lastly, don’t allow any stranger to approach you!

This is absolutely a must during this continued pandemic.

Jedrek from Port Arthur asks: I’ve been doing research on driver’s licenses in the United States of America and found out that I don’t need a license to drive in the United States. I just wanted to know was that true or not?

Answer: If you keep this quote in mind you will be on the right track: “Driving is a Privilege NOT a Right.” I don’t know of a state in the United States of America that doesn’t require an operator of a motor vehicle to have a valid state-issued driver’s license before getting behind the wheel of a moving motor vehicle on the roadway. Anyone can upload a video or enter a statement on YouTube or online, so be careful where and whom you get your information from. Just because you can read it online doesn’t mean it’s true. I can’t speak of all states in America, but believe me when I say everyone in Texas who operates a motor vehicle is required to have a valid state issued driver’s license. Do not get behind the wheel without it. The state of Texas gives (driver’s license) and the state of Texas can take it (driver’s license) away. Jedrek, I would love to see you or anyone try to challenge a citation for driving without a valid driver’s license in the municipal court of Port Arthur or ANY court in America.

Alice from Nederland asks: Can you please help my co-workers with this question about passing a stopped emergency vehicle? They are telling me the driver is supposed to slow down and move over to another lane when police, fire trucks and ambulances are stopped. Is this true?

Answer: The commonly called “Move over, slow down Law” in Texas protects police, fire, ambulances, tow trucks and Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) vehicles. Alice, the law is move over or slow down if you pass next to either of these vehicles that are stopped with their lights flashing. It is your responsibility to slow down to 20 mph under the posted speed limit when the speed limit is 25 mph or greater. Or you can move over and provide an empty lane between either of the listed vehicles and your vehicle. You are then permitted by law to drive up to the maximum allowed speed limit. You are not required to slow down if there is a lane between your car and one of the stopped vehicles with flashing lights. Hope this helped you.

Gabe from Beaumont asks: Is it illegal to drive with your inside dome light on?

Answer: NO, it is legal to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Texas with the inside dome light on. Don’t feel bad; I’ve heard this being illegal as well.

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!”