ASK A COP — Can you pass a school bus on a divided street?
Published 12:20 am Wednesday, April 27, 2022
KB from Port Arthur asks: My understanding of a stopped school bus letting off children is you should not stop on a divided highway if you are passing in the opposite direction. Is a four lane with a middle turning lane considered a divided highway?
Answer: The law regarding the separated roadway ONLY applies if there is a physical barrier that separates the two directions of travel, or something that clearly indicates the dividing sections constructed to impede vehicular traffic. A highway is NOT consider divided, no matter how many lanes there are on it, if there is only a center left turn lane. Please let this serve as a warning to YOU and ALL readers to “Drive Safe” and STOP for school buses that are stopped and red lights are flashing, so we can aid our local districts to transport our precious kids safely. My hat goes off to ALL bus drivers who take on the awesome task of transporting and protecting our children year in and year out.
Ricky from Groves asks: We’re aware at nighttime a light source is required on bicycles in Port Arthur, but what about on the bicycle trail on Thomas Boulevard? Are we required to have a light source at nighttime on a bicycle on the bicycle trail?
Answer: The mere fact that someone is operating a bicycle at night without a lighting source send chills up and down my spine. Motor vehicles are equipped with excellent light sources and continually crash into each other daily. Yes, Ricky, a bicycle rider is required to have a white lightening source on the front of the bicycle at nighttime that’s visible for 500 feet in Port Arthur and the great state of Texas. Refer to the Texas Transportation Code 551.104b.
Tim from Port Arthur asks: Lets say I’m traveling on a two-lane road (one lane going each direction) where the speed limit is 70 mph and the vehicle in front of you is traveling 60 mph. Would it be legal or illegal if I accelerate momentary above the speed limit with enough clearance to safely change lanes to any oncoming vehicle? Is this behavior considered “OK” in Texas or would I be breaking the law?
Answer: Speeding is one of the most common crimes most drivers commit, whether knowingly or unknowingly. The Texas Transportation Code 545.351 states “an operator may NOT drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing.” This is a wonderful question because I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard the excuse, “I was just passing someone.” My rule of thumb to practice when driving is “if I’m passing other vehicles on the road way, I need to check my speed” because one of two things will be for sure. Either they are driving way under the speed limit or I’m driving over the posted limit.
If you decide to pass a vehicle, you are allowed to pass within the maximum posted speed limit. So if the vehicle in front of you is going 60 mph and the speed limit is 70 mph, you don’t have to feel like a turtle on the road. Because state law still allows you in this situation to still go up to 10 mph faster than the vehicle you are passing. Tim, I’m not certain your age, but those of us who been on this earth a few days can remember when the maximum posted speed on our highway was 55. The slogan then was “55 and stay alive.” Today, 55 mph on our highways is a JOKE! Many drivers feel they will get run over if they drive slow, so they just join the crowd and SPEED. We all know we can’t control another driver. It’s a full time job keeping our driving behavior is check.
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 radio station, every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. as Officer Antoine discusses the “Ask A Cop” article. Tune in via internet at ksapthebreeze.org or call in a question live at 409-982-0247. Make a comment via TEXT at 409-748-6106. Remember to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 409-983-8673 for voice mail 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!”