ASK A COP — Can an unlicensed driver be insured?

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, June 28, 2022

From the desk of the Chief of Police Tim Duriso and the proud, hard-working men and women of the Port Arthur Police Department: we extend a happy Independence Day, 4th of July to all of our Port Arthurians and neighboring communities whom we serve daily. We hope everyone is able to come together and join our nation as we enjoy a safe and peaceful 4th of July celebration. As a REMINDER, please know that popping fireworks are illegal in Port Arthur. We still will have some of our citizens ignite fireworks, and our dispatch department becomes flooded with such calls, because the sound of fireworks and gunshots are similar. This also brings a problem with litter from the debris from the fireworks that are NOT cleaned up by those who participate in this crime. Another concern is the fire hazard that’s presented by popping fireworks. Thankfully, we will have rain this week so that will assist in saturating our land and property. Please understand we’re not ignoring your call, be patient with us as we still have other calls for service that may have a greater need of response! Keep in mind if you are found in possession of or igniting fireworks, the fine starts at $500 if found guilty in the municipal court of Port Arthur.

 

REMINDER! Law enforcement agencies will be out in force to keep our roads safe as you travel. AAA estimates a record setting 39.8 million Americans will chose automobiles as means of transportation during the 4th of July holiday travel season. National Safety Conference (NSC) estimates nationally between July 3 and July 7 that 565 lives will be lost and another 64,500 people will receive serious bodily injuries from traffic crashes on our roadways. Keep in mind as you celebrate, if you’re gonna consume alcoholic beverage that you do so responsibly. NEVER take a chance as you plan to drink adult beverages. Also plan for a responsible sober driver to transport you home.

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Fireworks are very dangerous and should not be handled by unskilled pyrotechnic workers. Why would municipalities like Port Arthur have such an ordinance prohibiting people from celebrating with fireworks? Because fireworks in the hands of the unskilled are dangerous and deadly. In 2020, 18 people were killed, apparently 15,600 were injured to the degree they sought emergency care for the use of fireworks. Having knowledge of this beforehand makes it seem like we need to find a different way to celebrate. Do not be dismayed, because The City of Port Arthur will celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks display at the Carl Parker Center under the control of professional pyrotechnics that can be viewed over the city but is enjoyed much more if you gather near the seawall in Port Arthur. Remember celebrate safely.

 

Bill from Port Arthur asks: I have a co-worker who doesn’t have a driver’s license but has insurance in his name for the vehicle he drives. How can someone be insured to drive a motor vehicle without a driver’s license?

Answer: This is one question I don’t really have an answer for, and if any insurance agency’s representatives are readers of this column, will you please notify me. I’ve seen where insurance companies will insure an unlicensed driver vehicle, even though they can’t legally operate the vehicle on the roadway of Texas. I’ve seen this for years and it always floors me every time I stop someone who doesn’t have a driver’s license but they quickly produce insurance and the policy in their name. I’ve run across drivers who don’t have a proper identification card, yet they had insurance in their name with a local address. I look at it this way, even though they can’t legally drive a vehicle on the roads of Texas, at least they are covered in case of a crash damaging someone else’s property.

 

Dianna from Groves asks: What should I do while driving and seeing a wrecker in my lane of traffic behind me with its lights flashing? Do I treat it as if it were an emergency vehicle?

Answer: Towing trucks are NOT emergency vehicles in Texas, and they are not permitted to drive on the road of Texas with their overhead lamps activated. No towing truck should be traveling down the road with their caution lights flashing. The only time a wrecker can activate its lights is when stopped on the side of the road or actively working on a crash scene.

 

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the CREW: Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” Washington & Tejas “Lil Man” Moorin Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. as we discuss in detail the newly released “Ask A Cop” article. You can also tune in via ksapthebreeze.org. Ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Now you can make a comment or ask via TEXT 409-748-6106. Remember to email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 for voice mail question 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!”