ASK A COP — When should a handicapped parking placard be displayed?
Published 12:08 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Melissa from Port Arthur asks: My favorite uncle has a blue handicapped parking pass that he refuses to take off his rearview mirror. Everywhere he goes, the handicapped card is still swinging and, of course, he thinks he’s right. Officer Antoine, will you find it in your heart to inform my uncle and let him know this is illegal, or am I wrong?
Answer: Not only will I print your question but I will call your uncle with the number you provided. I will also publish your question because the information regarding the blue and red placards apparently isn’t in every household. I wish the Department of Motor Vehicles would administer a one-question test before handing out the placard. That one question should be, are you allowed to drive a motor vehicle with the placard on the rear view mirror? The placard is ONLY for parking. As far as I know, there are no lanes on the roadway designated for disabled motorists, so there’s no need to display the placard while driving. I always encourage motorists to read the fourth line on the placard, and it will tell you not to drive with the placard on the rear view mirror. If your uncle is truly adamant about displaying the placard while driving, explain to him that the placard impairs his vision and he’s welcome to request disabled license plates from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Ken for Groves asks: I have a question about people driving 55-60 mph in the left hand lane on the highway. I see this all the time and it doesn’t make any sense to me because it ties up the traffic flow. The other day I observed someone driving slowly in the left lane, so I passed him up in the right lane and got in front of him in the left lane and slowed down. He passed me back and got in front of me again in the left lane going 60 mph. What can be done about this?
Answer: What we can start with first is we need you to STOP being a hazard on the road. Trust me, Ken, I do understand how you feel when you have a slow driver in the left lane. But keep in mind, you are NOT the Police. The action you took was a mild form of ROAD RAGE, which we experience here in Texas. Don’t take other people’s disobedience of the Transportation Code into your own hands.
In doing so you violated the Transportation Code as well. Call your local police department and let them take care of it. I must say you are correct by saying the left hand lane is designed for passers and left turn makers. If someone is driving at or under the posted speed limit, they need to be in the right lane.
Oscar from Port Neches asks: I have been a licensed driver in the state of Texas for over 35 years, and my granddaughter took your class and told me you advised if you are being stopped, “DO NOT EXIT THE CAR UNTIL TOLD TO BY POLICE.” This is directly opposite of what I’ve been told since I’ve been driving. I was under the thought that you should get out and meet the officer. Have things changed? Is she right?
Answer: She is 100 percent correct, at least as far as I am concerned. Keep in mind there is a 99 percent chance the police officer stopping you doesn’t know who you are. So for you to exit your vehicle and walk towards the police unit will probably cause tension at the scene that wouldn’t have occurred had you remained in your vehicle until otherwise instructed to do so by the officer. Not quite sure how they handled that 40-plus years ago, but I can inform you today, STAY in your vehicle until instructed to do otherwise. Remember to keep your hands in plain view and DO NOT get busy trying to find documents until told to do so by officer.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!”