ASK A COP — Know the rules for July 4
Published 12:06 am Tuesday, July 4, 2023
From the desk of Chief of Police Tim Duriso and all of the proud, hard-working men and women of the Port Arthur Police Department: We would like to extend a happy Independence Day, 4th of July to all of our Port Arthurians and neighboring communities whom we serve around the clock on a daily. FIREWORKS AND ALCOHOL DON’T MIX! 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 popping fireworks are illegal in Port Arthur, but some of our citizens ignite fireworks and our dispatch department becomes flooded with such calls. The sound of fireworks and gunshots are similar.
Igniting fireworks also brings a problem with litter from the debris from the fireworks and are NOT cleaned up by those who participate in this crime. Another concern is the fire hazard that’s presented by popping fireworks. We have not had a lot of rain this week, so our land and structures are dry, which is not good to our land and property for those who illegally ignite fireworks within the city limits of Port Arthur.
Please understand if you call Port Arthur Police Department’s nonemergency number to complain about fireworks and if it seems to be taking a bit longer than normal for the police officer to respond, 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 that 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.
If you decide to consume alcoholic beverages, please do so responsibly.
Tom from Nederland asks: I own two vehicles, a work vehicle that I drive the most and a luxury vehicle when it’s time to play (if you get my drift). Now my work vehicle had a broken headlight, and because I work six days a week it’s been nearly impossible to get it in the shop to be repaired. I have one light that’s out on the driver’s side, so I only drive the vehicle when headlights aren’t required like during daytime. Is it illegal to drive my vehicle knowing my headlight doesn’t work even if I’m not going to turn the light on?
Answer: I can understand your dilemma that you’re working six days a week and really don’t have time to have the lamp replaced because of your work schedule. But on the other hand, we ALL must be in compliance with the state of Texas Transportation Code. You’re dealing with a violation that is mostly self compliant, meaning normally nobody will know you’re operating a vehicle with defective lamp but you. It is illegal to operate a vehicle on the roadway of Texas with defective headlamp, even during the daytime when the lamps are not required. You happen to have a simple solution, and that’s to pull out your luxury boy toy until you get your headlamp issue on your work vehicle resolved. You never know, especially giving the unpredictable weather in Southeast Texas, when headlamps will be required during the daytime hours.
Pattie from Port Arthur asks: The street I live on in Port Arthur is littered daily and is very disgusting and unhealthy. Thanks for any information you can provide!
Answer: Littering is a CRIME! I’m sorry you have to endure such litterbugs who obviously don’t care about their community. After over 30 years of the “Don’t mess with Texas” slogan, Texas roadways still accumulated with over 434 million pieces of visible liter each year according to the Texas Department of Transportation. While the population of Texas is 28 million, that’s a big problem we’re dealing with. Texas Department of Transportation has the phrase, “Don’ Mess with Texas,” which targeted males 18-35 where stats show were the biggest culprits in littering on the roadways.
The state of Texas allows citizens to report a litterer by going to dontmesswithtexas.org and reporting the license plate number, vehicle, make and model, the date and time, location and what was tossed out, also who tossed the litter the driver or passenger. After that information is submitted, the Texas Department of Transportation will find the owner of said vehicle and send them a Don’t mess with Texas litter bag with a letter reminding them to keep their trash off of our roads. The city of Port Arthur also has a ordinance against littering that states the throwing of depositing or placing of any trash, paper or other deposits of litter of any kind into the sidewalks, streets, or public walks in the city. You’re also welcome to report the littering to Port Arthur Police Department at 409-983-8600.
Kevin from Port Arthur asks: I saw a car on the road while I was in H Town (Houston) with no doors, no hood or trunk cover. It appeared this car surely shouldn’t be on any road legally in Texas. This car looked like it should be in the junkyard. What’s even more shocking is a police officer pulled up next to the vehicle and just shook his head. Is this legal drive on the roads of Texas?
Answer: As strange as that vehicle may have appeared to be on the roadway without doors, hood or trunk cover, there’s nothing in the Texas Transportation Code that prohibits such operation. I’m sure that’s why the officer did not take any action, because there was nothing illegal about the vehicle. I would agree with you that this car probably looked like it was ready to be sent to a salvage yard, but as long as it was inspected with current registration and insured, it was no fault for this vehicle to be on the roads of Texas.
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!”