ASK A COP — Am I at fault if my vehicle hits someone displaying road rage?

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Randy from Nederland asks: I was turning off Highway 365 near Jack in the Box onto Memorial Boulevard feeder while another vehicle was turning off of 365 behind me and turned in front of me into my lane. This driver started slowing down seemingly trying to get me to hit the rear of their vehicle, but I kept my cool. They later turned into entrance of Walmart and so happened that’s where I needed to turn as well. They pulled over and I just passed them by. Would I have been at fault if I would have struck the vehicle from behind? They were driving badly, purposely hitting their brakes in front of me.

Answer: Thanks for being part of the driving solution in southeast Texas. I’m glad you didn’t buy tickets to join anyone else circus. Your answer would come from an investigation with the on-scene officer, but it appears you could be NOT at fault if proven that lead vehicle was engaging in a form of road rage while driving, which greatly contributed to the crash. According to (NHTSA) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 66 percentage of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving. It’s always the law and good driving practice to stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you to allow safe distance to stop.

Bob from Port Arthur asks: My daughter recently was given a ticket for failing to yield the right of way from a stop sign, and I was looking for a defensive driving class to go to before her court date. I don’t want this to go on her driving record, because my insurance premium will most likely go up. Do you know any class locally that she can attend?

Answer: First, I have to slow you down a little on taking the class before you go to court. If you do that, you will find yourself in a difficult position, meaning when you receive a citation from a police officer you are commanded to go to COURT first. You will need to go to court first and also need to order your daughter’s driving record from the state of Texas. Once you receive permission from the court to take a defensive driving course, then you can proceed to take the course. The state of Texas allows a motorist to take a safety driving course only ONCE a year. If she takes the course before the court gives her permission, she will use up her opportunity to take the course. Wait until the court gives her/you instructions. On the classes to attend you asked about, I’m not a liberty to suggest ANY class. You will need to contact the court for that information. I will tell you the state even allows Defensive driving course online. Hope this is an eye opener for her.

Jim from Port Arthur asks: My friend, Tom, asked me about bushes obstructing the view of a driver at a stop sign. The driver is unable to see oncoming traffic and judge when it is safe to advance his vehicle. His basic question was: What city department do you have to call in order to get the obstructions removed, trimmed, etc.? Keep up the good work and endeavor to persevere.

Answer: You are inquiring about an issue motorists deal with on a daily basis, obstructing bushes or signs. Your friend, Tom, will need to contact the street department and code enforcement. If it’s a city-maintained issue, they will correct the problem. If it’s on private property, they will notify the home owner about what needs to be done to make the area safer and up to code. If there seems to be closed doors, you are welcome to contact the Port Arthur Police Department for assistance.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the CREW, Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” Washington & Tejas “Lil Man” Moorin Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. Tune in at ksapthebreeze.org. Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247. You can make a comment via TEXT – 409-748-6106. Email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always approach and “Ask A Cop!”