ASK A COP — Can school buses with yellow lights flashing be passed?

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Leo from Port Arthur asks: I saw a school bus on the side of the road with its yellow lights flashing. I slowly drove past it. Still to this point, I feel a little guilty, like I’ve done something wrong. I was going to stop behind the bus, but there was this truck behind me blowing its horn, so I decided to slowly roll by the bus with its yellow flashing lights. The very last thing I want to do is hit a child crossing a street because I passed a school bus. Help me! Was I right or wrong from being encouraged by another vehicle to drive by a flashing stopped school bus?

Answer: In Texas, school busses are bright yellow and equipped with a stop sign and flashing yellow and red lights. The yellow flashing lights are cautionary lights, like all other yellow lights on our roadway. This brings our attention to the bus preparing to stop and makes us aware children will soon be entering or exiting the bus. If the lights were flashing yellow, you did NOT violate the law of passing a stopped school bus. It becomes a violation when the flashing lights are RED, and the driver of a motor vehicle continues to drive by the school bus. I’m sure school district bus drivers will tell you motorists disregard and pass their stopped school buses daily, even when the red stop sign is displayed and the lights are flashing red.

Joann from Groves asks: The other day I was at a four-way intersection, and when the light turned green, the car in the left curb lane made a U Turn and went in the opposite direction. Instantly I said where are the police when things like this happen. What is the fine for such an act?

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Answer: This is the forever cycling question, when to or when not to U TURN. It’s totally legal to make a U Turn at an intersection, as long as there’s no sign prohibiting such action an the intersection. Making U turns are legal at any intersection, as long as they can be performed safely and legally. I’m aware this may look strange, but believe me when I tell you, U Turns can be performed at intersections. Keep in my the vehicle desiring to make a U Turn must yield the right of way of approaching vehicles and should have a clear sight of 500 feet of approaching vehicles.

Todd from Port Arthur asks: With all of the different gun laws in Texas, there is a question I have about a gun law. My friend always leaves his weapon in his vehicle overnight. Is this practice of leaving a weapon in a vehicle overnight legal in Texas?

Answer: Leaving a weapon in your vehicle is not a crime if it’s not in plain sight. I will remind everyone that Absolutely, Positively, NEVER under any circumstance, should anyone leave their weapon in their vehicles overnight. This is a practice that has been going on in all communities in Texas and needs to cease immediately. I can’t begin to tell you how many calls we receive about a vehicle that was burglarized overnight and a weapon was stolen out of the vehicle. During automobile burglary investigations, officers discover many of the vehicles are found unlocked, where weapons were stored. This is a practice that put stolen guns in the hands of violent criminals. We at the police department are asking citizens to take that extra step or minute to secure your vehicle and weapons after you park your vehicles overnight. Remember the weapon is for your personal protection, and it can’t help you if the weapon is in the car overnight.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the crew of Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I. Washington and Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM, The Breeze radio station every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. Tune in via the Internet at Call in questions live at 409-982-0247. Email questions to, call 409-983-8673 for voice mail or mail them to 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always approach and “Ask A Cop!”