ASK A COP — What are the changes to disabled veteran plate requirements in Texas?

Published 3:05 pm Monday, January 31, 2022

Ed from Beaumont asks: It’s come to my knowledge that there has been a change in the parking privileges for disabled veterans in Texas. I have family members and friends who have proudly served this nation in the armed forces and a couple of them are disabled veterans. Can you enlighten my family and friends as well as other disabled veterans who may not be aware of the change that took place regarding the disabled plates on their vehicles?

Answer: As of 01/01/2022, the state of Texas no longer will permit persons with disabled veteran plates that do NOT have the (ISA) International Symbol of Access (wheelchair) on their plates to park in disabled parking spots. Veterans can go to their local Texas Department of Motor Vehicle and apply for the new license plate or placard. Disabled veterans WITHOUT the ISA on their plates can NOT park in a disabled parking spot. It is a violation of state law to use the placard or plates for a disabled parking spot without the person with the disability in the vehicle. People who misuse disabled parking placards are subject to fines of up to $1,250 and/or up to 50 hours of community service.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Shelby from Mount Belvieu asks: I understand we are allowed to take defensive driving only once a year. Now my question is that from January to December, or 12 months from the time I last took defensive driving?

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Answer: The 12-month period from the last time you took the defensive driving course is the correct answer! Defensive driving isn’t an automatic option to rid oneself of a citation. There are several conditions that must be met before qualifying for a defensive driving course by any court. To qualify for the defensive driving course, you must NOT have taken the course in the last 12-month period, must NOT be accused of going 25 mph over the posted speed limit, must NOT drive a vehicle at a speed 95 mph or greater, must NOT receive citation in a construction zone, must NOT be cited for passing a stopped school bus, must not possess a commercial driver’s license, must prove you have insurance and must NOT be cited for failing to stop and render aid in a crash.

Clinton from Port Arthur asks: I know you can assist me with a question about speeding. I was debating with my friend who says he was arrested for going 10 mph over the speed limit. I believe he’s pulling my leg. Can someone be arrested for going 10 mph over the posted speed limit?

Answer: This question seems to never go away. What puzzles me is if there’s a misconception about drivers being arrested for going 10 mph over the posted limit, then why are so many motorists risking their freedom to speed? It doesn’t appear your friend is filling you in on every detail of his supposed arrest. In the state of Texas, a driver can NOT be arrested for speeding. No matter if it’s 10 mph or 50 mph over the posted limit, no police officer can arrest a driver just for speeding in Texas. Your friend may have been initially stopped by a police officer for speeding and was arrested for another crime. But If your friend is anything like my friend, he’s just pulling your leg….(smile).

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!”