ASK A COP — Is it illegal to drive with a door open?
Published 12:04 am Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Tuddy from Port Arthur asks: I’m asking that you explain the process of receiving a ticket from a police officer and being under arrest in Texas.
Answer: There are many videos on social media where motorists are resisting or refusing to cooperate on traffic stops. Apparently these are not Texas traffic stops. This process of receiving an arrest citation is probably one of the most misunderstood by motorists in the state of Texas. Texas police officers are empowered to ARREST any person(s) for minor traffic violations, and motorists will NOT be able to successfully contest this action on scene. This means you can easily be arrested and taken to jail for running a red light, stop sign, changing lanes without signaling intent or something as simple as burn tail light. If any motorist is stopped by a Texas police officer and the officer is issuing an arrest citation, commonly known as a TICKET, you need to consider yourself ARRESTED and should carefully listen to all instructions given to you by the arresting officer.
YES, now normally the arresting officer will issue you an arrest citation and offer the arrestee the opportunity to bail themselves from the officer’s custody by signing the citation for a personal recognizance bond, no money needed just your promise to appear before the aforementioned court on or before a given date and time. Now say you don’t agree with the officer’s accusation and don’t want to sign or comply with signing, this is what’s next: YOU WILL be placed in hand restraint, your vehicle will be towed and you will be transported to JAIL!! So to avoid all of that drama, all you have to do is sign the Arrest Citation bailing yourself from the officer’s custody and you can be on your merry way and contest the citation another day.
Keep in mind your signature is simply saying you promise to appear to the mentioned court, NOT that you agree with the charge. There are three violations that police officers are NOT able to arrest, and they are speeding, open container of alcohol and texting while driving. In these three violations, the arresting officer must issue an arrest citation an allow you the opportunity to sign the citation to release you from the officer’s custody. So Tuddy, in my opinion to avoid being arrested, have you vehicle towed and taken to jail, just simply sign the citation and contest the citation on your court date!
Hicks from West Orange asks: Sometime ago you answered a question about someone riding in the trunk of a vehicle, and to my surprise, I found that given the circumstances, riding in the trunk was permissible by state law. I have something I observed that made me scratch my head wondering if it was legal. As I traveled down the road, I observed someone with their passenger door ajar because they were transporting items that were too large and it would not allow them to close the front passenger door. The passenger door wasn’t fully opened, but I and anyone else who passed, could clearly see the door was not secured and closed like it is supposed to be. Is it illegal to ride down the road without closing the passenger or any door?
Answer: There’s no law in the Transportation Code that says you MUST have all doors shut while traveling on the road. But Hicks, state law does not allow passenger vehicles to carry a load that will extend six inches beyond the right side of its fender, so if the passenger door is opened beyond 6 inches from the fender, then they are in violation. See the Transportation Code 621.201(c).
John from Beaumont asks: Is that 800 number on back of my Texas Driver License for auto aid if a motorist is having vehicle problems or is it for police help?
Answer: This toll-free number was established in 1989 to get help to motorists whose vehicles are disabled on state and federal roads in Texas. The number is answered by a someone in Austin. Here is the number that you are referring to Helen 800-525-5555. Here are a few occasions of when a motorist may call the Hotline. If you are stranded with car problems, hazardous road conditions, debris in the roadway, suspicious activities at a rest area, or obviously intoxicated or dangerous drivers. Do not use this number in case of an emergency, call 911. If the operator deems the call a local police to handle, they will switch you to the appropriate law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.
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