ASK A COP — Can vehicle lights switch to new color for turn signal?

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Hoss from Port Arthur asks: I’m a proud owner of a F-250 pickup and I’ve seen something recently on another truck that I want on my vehicle. I have no interest in violating the Transportation Code of Texas. Is it a violation to have switch back bulbs installed on a vehicle in Texas? I saw a vehicle where all the lights on the front of it were white and when he signaled to turn the bulb switched back to amber. I want that look for my truck.

Answer: In Texas the lightening change to your truck that you are referring to is legal. Texas Transportation Code 547.324(c)(d) states a turn signal lamp shall emit: (1) a WHITE or AMBER light, or a color between WHITE and AMBER if the lamp is mounted on the front of the vehicle. So, Hoss, in Texas “YES” your turn signals in the front of your vehicle can be white. I hope motorists will start to pattern their vehicle accessorizing behavior after you and ask before you try.

Cynt from Port Arthur asks: My name is Cynt and I am student at Lamar State College in Port Arthur. When holding at a red signal in the only lane waiting to turn left, by that time if any emergency vehicle comes from my back, which way should I move? Can I jump the signal, giving way to it, or just hold on at same position?

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Answer: Your question is one that seems to keep resurfacing, and I’ll address it as many times as need be. Emergency vehicles that come behind you with their red and blue lights flashing, and Oh My God, that loud siren blaring, almost is enough to send the average person into a cardiac episode. Which way do I go and what shall I do are always questions on the forefront. First thing, “be patient” and make no sudden movement without considering the safety of other motorists on our road. NEVER, and I mean NEVER, run a red light. The only person who can authorize you to run a red light is a police officer. Your best reaction is to activate your right signal and, when it’s SAFE, turn right to give the emergency vehicle passage. We understand you want to clear the way for emergency vehicles, because sometimes seconds count when it comes to saving lives. But we won’t be able to defer assistance to others if we have to stay on scene of your crash.

Ty from Nederland asks: The other day I was in the car and my wife was driving, and as we were approaching the intersection at Memorial Boulevard and 39th Street, this time something was different. ALL the lights were out. What are we supposed to do when lights are out at an intersection? This was very scary.

Answer: The first thing I can say is PRAY!! In the perfect world all lights will be functioning at every intersection, but there are those times when we experience a power outage. In the event you approach an intersection where the traffic signal lights are out, you should treat that area as if there were four stop signs. This is why it’s important not to be on your cellphone while driving, because motorists say when the light is working, “I didn’t see a red light.” So you will definitely not see the intersection if your head is down dealing with your cellphone. Port Arthur Police Department responded quickly to the intersection and activated our emergency lights until the city was able to erect temporary stop signs.

Join Me, Officer Antoine and the CREW Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I Washington & Tejas “Lil Man”Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. and beyond. Call in questions at 409-982-0247. You can also email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov or leave a voicemail at 409-983-8673. Mail them to Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always “Ask A Cop!”