Ask a cop: Commercial about texting, driving raises question about legality

first_img Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze radio station, every Tuesday 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 [email protected] , or call 409-984-8541 and leave a 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! Nancy from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I will admit you have truly changed my driving behavior by your relentless work at stopping cars on the road, your outreach to the surrounding community with this “Ask A Cop” article, as well as your radio show on Tuesdays. I’m not able to tune in to your radio show as often as I would like to, but the times when I caught your show I found it both entertaining and educational. Who would have thought “YOU,” Officer Antoine, the ticket master, had such a witty personality! Just a personal note from me to you, don’t let anyone stop you from doing exactly what you are doing. Whether you know it or not, you have made a difference! Officer Antoine, I’ve been hearing commercials on the radio about Police Officers stopping drivers for driving and texting, which confuses me because I didn’t know it was illegal to text and drive in Texas. I believe texting is dangerous, but is it illegal in Texas?Answer: Good question, Nancy! Thanks, Nancy, for your reinforcement of the mission of The Port Arthur Police Department Traffic Enforcement Unit! It’s motorists like you and many, many others that are the reason why we continue to work continuously to protect and educate our communities. Nancy, yes, I enjoy myself on the radio station where we get an opportunity to tear down stereotypes, misconceptions and any false information that has been passed down from motorists to motorists. We also get a chance to share a laugh or two or three or four….(smile)! Nancy, I have heard the commercial that is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, better known as NHTSA, about texting and driving is dangerous, and if you are caught you could be given a citation for texting while driving. Well, that pertains to other states that have enacted a texting while driving law. Unfortunately, Texas is not such a state that has approved such a law.Texas Governors have vetoed the texting law for 3 years in a row. So that commercial may pertain to municipalities in Texas that have adopted a texting while driving ordinance in their individual cities. Nancy, I along with my supervisor, Lt. Steve Brinson, have been sounding the alarm for the last four years for a Texting while Driving Ordinance to be adopted in Port Arthur, but it always seem to lose its steam! There are 44 states in the USA that have banned at least texting while driving in a motor vehicle, while Texas ONLY outlaws texting while driving in active school zones and it has to be posted. So Nancy, to answer your question, NO, it’s not illegal to TEXT and DRIVE in Texas unless you are in an active school zone and it’s posted!I hope you don’t think we have given up on the ordinance for Texting and Driving. No, just the opposite. We will continue to knock, and knock, and ask, and ask until we have a texting ordinance, and we are also going to invite our surrounding communities (Beaumont, Nederland, Groves, Port Neches and Bridge City) to join in our efforts to safeguard our motorists while on the roads of Southeast Texas. Nancy it is my opinion that the only thing you can do that’s more dangerous in a vehicle than Texting while driving is SLEEPING while driving! Billy from Port Neches asks: Officer Antoine, I have a dumb question and I know you have the answer to this dumb question. If you sign a citation, you might as well go pay the ticket because when we sign the ticket we are signing that the officer is right, right?Answer: Good question, Billy! WRONG! Billy, that’s a major misconception that so many motorists have when they receive a citation/ticket from a police officer. Many people believe they are pleading their case as GUILTY when they sign the citation. This could be not further from the truth. Billy, when a police officer in the state of Texas issues you a citation and ask you to sign the citation, your signature is not an admittance of guilt, it’s ONLY a promise to appear before the mentioned court by the said date and time…that’s it! You are NOT saying that the officer is right and you are wrong, ONLY that you will go to court by that deadline stated on the citation! I can’t begin to tell you, Billy, how many people don’t understand the process of signing a citation/ticket. In Texas, we don’t have a choice of mailing you the citation on scene if you refuse to sign. The law says you WILL be arrested and have your body brought before the magistrate, if you refuse to sign a citation/ticket in Texas! NO ifs, ands or buts about it…it’s clear cut either sign the citation/ticket or go to jail! Billy, consider this, most motorists are not aware that they are already under arrest when the Police Officer is issuing them a citation/ticket, and their signature is actually their Personal Recognizance Bond. No money needed, just the motorist’s word/signature promising to go to court is enough for the officer to release you during the investigation. So if you don’t bond yourself out with a signature, you will be taken into custody. I have been a Police Officer in Port Arthur since 2000, and I’ve taken 3 people into custody who simply refused to sign their bond. Now, is it worth being taken into custody, having your vehicle towed and transported to JAIL because you didn’t want to sign a ticket?Kace from Beaumont asks: Officer Antoine, I looked at the weather map in advance and it looks like we are headed for some wet weather. Is it a violation for the driver of a car not to turn on their windshield wipers during rainy weather?Answer: Good question, Kace! The very first thing came to my mind is, WHO would do such a thing? But, the world that we live in I’m sure somebody is more than willing to put this to the challenge. By the way, this is a very timely question, Kace, and you are correct, inclement weather is present in Southeast Texas, because as I type my column, it sounds like the roof is going to cave in. Kace, in Texas, the Transportation Code only addresses the presence of a properly functional wiper system, not when to turn on the windshield wiper system. I haven’t tried it, but some motorists swear by products like Rain-X that repel water from the windshield without the aid of windshield wipers. So to answer your question, “NO,” it’s not illegal to drive in rainy weather without turning on the windshield wipers, as long as the windshield wipers are in good working condition.last_img read more

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Benson Named All-GSC, UWF Men’s Basketball Picked To Finish Second

first_img School Total Points UWF adds seven newcomers to the roster this year and returns six players who saw the floor last season, plus redshirt post player Conor Flanagan, who is expected to be sidelined for the upcoming season because of injury. The team will look to continue its success despite losing last year’s All-GSC and All-South Region selection Darryl Tucker as well as DJ Thorpe, Marvin Jones and Moter Deng. 13. Shorter 19 12. Auburn Montgomery 21 11. Mississippi College 40 3. Delta State (1) 114 NOTES: The head coaches voted in this poll. Teams received 12 points for a first place vote, 11 for a second place vote, etc. The head coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. Number of first place votes in parentheses. 2018 MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL UWF is coming off the most successful season in program history. The 2017-18 team reset the program record for wins during its electric 28-4 (17-3 GSC) campaign. The Argos captured the first GSC championship and earned the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.”We are excited and proud to be picked number two by the coaches in the GSC preseason poll,” said UWF head coach Jeff Burkhamer. “We have gained respect throughout the league by our play over the past two seasons.  We hope to continue to grow our program and to be competitive with the best teams in the GSC and the South Region.” 8. West Alabama (1) 73 Benson currently ranks second in UWF history in career assists (396), fifth in UWF history in career field goal attempts (823), sixth in career steals (112) and seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.387). He is also in the program’s top-10 in career points (893), free throw attempts (293) and made free throws (196). “Rashaan is a terrific leader and playmaker. We need him to have a great year for us to have a great year,” said Burkhamer. “Not bad for a kid we got from an open tryout. Benson is a winner and will be a UWF Hall of Famer.”UWF will open its 2018-19 season Oct. 26 with a 5:00 p.m. exhibition game at Florida State. The team will then participate in the GSC-SIAC Crossover Challenge Nov. 9-10 vs. Fort Valley State and Albany State in Albany, Georgia. GSC PRESEASON PREVIEW BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UWF men’s basketball was picked to finish second in the Gulf South Conference preseason poll released Thursday. Senior point guard Rashaan Benson was named to the preseason All-GSC team. Jon Brown, a redshirt freshman transfer from North Alabama, was named the squad’s top newcomer. Benson was selected to the five-man preseason All-GSC squad, joining reigning conference player of the year Beau Justice (Valdosta State), Adam Dieball (Christian Bros.), Brett Warner (Delta State), and Marquill Smith (West Georgia). 6. Montevallo 93center_img Lee, Montevallo, and Alabama Huntsville were picked to finish fifth through seventh. West Alabama received one first place vote and was selected to finish eighth. West Georgia, Union, Mississippi College, Auburn Montgomery, and Shorter rounded out the preseason poll. “We are so excited for Rashaan. He’s been a three-year starter and has been instrumental in changing culture and building our program,” said Burkhamer. “He will leave our program as the all-time assist leader and will be in the top 10 in a number of other categories. He is certainly one of the best players in our league.” #ARGOS#Print Friendly Version For the latest information on UWF men’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter @UWFMensBBall. 1. Valdosta State (11) 143 4. Christian Brothers 107 Delta State, last year’s GSC Tournament runner-up, was picked to finish third with one first-place vote and 114 total points. Christian Brothers garnered 107 points and was picked to finish fourth. 9. West Georgia 64 10. Union 44 “We must replace 4 outstanding players that helped lead us to 48 wins, a GSC title, and an NCAA tournament bid so we have our work cut out for us,” said Burkhamer. “Our new players must meet the challenge quickly for us to compete in a very tough league and our returners must use their experience and knowledge to lead us.  We want to improve each day and are ready to get started.” 5. Lee 98 2. West Florida 118 7. Alabama Huntsville 80 Valdosta State, which entered last year’s GSC Tournament as the one-seed after an 18-2 conference slate, was picked to finish first in 2018-19 with 11 first place votes and 143 total points. West Florida came in at number 2 with 118 points. The Argos did not receive any first place votes.last_img read more

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