ASK A COP: Outstanding warrants can keep you from renewing license

Port Arthur Police Officer Rickey Antoine

Christine from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I have really enjoyed your column in The Port Arthur News. I was discussing driving laws with my cousin the other day, and we got on the subject of outstanding warrants for arrest. She said that a coworker of hers had outstanding warrants for driving infractions committed in a different city, and her license was suspended because of the warrant. This blew me away and I can’t seem to believe this to be true. Officer Antoine, can you get points on your license or have your license suspended for having outstanding warrants for your arrest for traffic infractions?

Answer: Good question Christine! I don’t believe the state will suspend your license either for an outstanding warrant for a traffic citation, but the state can/will DENY renewal of said driver’s license if a court reports to the state that said license holder failed to report to court, or failed to complete the payment agreement. Now Christine, under the Failure to Appear / Failure to Pay Program, the department may deny the renewal, and your license will not be able to be renewed until obligations have been satisfied with every court that reported to the state your active warrant status. Once a license holder has satisfied the court, they are able to approach the department to renew their license.

Arthur from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, my question to you is about when someone is involved in a wreck. The other day I witnessed two people who had a minor fender bender and they were on a very congested road in Port Arthur, Highway 365, in a major lane of travel. Officer Antoine, it was obvious what happened, the back vehicle tapped the rear of the front vehicle — End of story, right? — but they had traffic backed up forever. Could they have moved the vehicles, or are you supposed to leave your vehicles put if you are involved in a crash?

Answer: Good question Arthur! Thanks Arthur to all readers! Always call the police when an injury or worse has occurred, and the vehicles cannot be moved. Now Arthur, according to the State of Texas, if you are in a collision and no one is hurt, you don’t have to wait for the police before moving your vehicle. If you can drive the vehicle, the law requires you to move it out of the lane of traffic. Giving the scene you described, the two motorists were more than welcome to move their vehicles to free up the congestion of traffic on FM 365. We all know how congested that road can be without a crash. So YES, if possible, vehicles involved in a crash can be moved out of the lane of travel.

Tiffany from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine, I’m having a debate with my boyfriend about the usage of turn signals. If you are a driver of a car in a turn lane, let’s say it’s a turn only lane, and you are maybe the third car in line, do you have to put your turn signal on? Thank you for all your help you’re going to give me in advance. Love your column!

Answer: Good question Tiffany! Apparently this is a difficult law to understand. Law Enforcement Officers find so many people on a daily basis who fail to use their turn signals properly, whether it’s an indicator for lane changing, or making a legal turn. Tiffany, the state law requires you use your turn signal when turning, and yes even if you’re the third car in line. The turn signal must be activated on your vehicle 100 feet before you intend to turn.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday (Today) for 1 hour from 1p-2p. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses in detail the newly released Ask A Cop article that printed in The News. You can also tune in via Internet at www.ksapthebreeze.org. Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247.

Remember to email your questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, or call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!

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