ASK A COP — How young is too young to ride on a bicycle?
Published 12:06 am Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Wendy from Nederland asks: I observed a man with what I’d say was a 2-year-old baby in his arm as he rode a bicycle on the road. I looked at that baby, and something just didn’t sit right with me. Is there a minimum age which a bicycle rider can carry a child?
Answer: Keep in mind that a bicycle, according to the Texas Transportation Code, is a vehicle but not a motor vehicle. As to date there is NOTHING in the Texas Transportation Code that prevents a bicyclist from transportation a child while operating a bicycle. Every effort MUST be made by the rider to ensure the safety of themselves and the child, meaning the rider shouldn’t place the child in any foreseeable danger, and at that point we could be investigating a felony child endangering case. There is no age limit set forth by the state of Texas that prohibits or restricts a child from being transported on a bicycle.
Claire from Port Arthur asks: I am recently retired and have a part time job where I am the caretaker of a disabled client. My client was injured in a car wreck and cannot walk, because he no longer has the use of his legs and is confined to a wheelchair. When I take him on our outings, I use my car because he no longer has a car. I am not disabled, so I don’t have a disabled parking sign for me in my vehicle. Because my client doesn’t drive, he does not have a disabled sign to hang on the review mirror. It’s obvious he is disabled and in a wheelchair, but I don’t have a card to hang when I park in a handicapped space. I don’t think anyone would have a problem if they saw us getting out of the car, because I push him in his wheelchair. Is it OK for us to park in the handicapped space, knowing my client is handicapped and confined to a wheelchair even though we don’t have the sign?
Answer: Sorry to hear of your client’s injury sustained in a motor vehicle crash. One of the missions of the Traffic Enforcement Unit Officer’s are to prevent injury. I understand the position you explained. This is actually a cut-and-dried. NO, you can NOT park in a disabled parking spot, even though your client/passenger is in a wheelchair. The next doctor visit your client goes to, instruct him to request a disabled-parking privilege. Next, you will go to the department of motor vehicles, and they will issue your client a BLUE disabled parking placard. You are NOT allowed by law to park in a disabled spot UNTIL you have permission by the state to do so. I’m sure many readers’ hearts, as well as mine, goes out to you, but the LAW is the LAW. That’s the LAW we, the citizens of the great state of TEXAS, are governed by. Either park close and unload your passenger, then go park your vehicle in a regular spot or you can park in a regular spot and unload your client and push him to the place of your choice. Once you get the placard, ONLY hang it up on the rear view mirror when parking, it’s NOT FOR DRIVING. I encourage everyone to take time and read the back of the placard. On the fourth line it clearly instructs the owner of the placard saying: DO NOT drive this vehicle with the placard hanging from the rear view mirror.
Frank from Nederland asks: I’m a little confused since Texas is a hands-free cellphone state. I’ve been on my son to stay off the phone while driving. Now friends and family are recommending we install a speaker system in vehicles, because driving with the phone in your hand in Texas is Illegal. Is there another method or system you know that we can try before buying the speaker system for cellphone hands free driving??
Answer: I will agree that you are somewhat confused about the Texas Texting law that began Sept. 1, 2017. The only place you are to be cellphone hands free cell in Texas is in an active SCHOOL ZONE! Other than that, the Texas Texting law allows for motorists to operate a motor vehicle with the cellphone in their hand while driving. If you’re asking my opinion about driving with a cellphone in hand, I’d advise against that firmly. Many take for granted the dangerous risk they assume daily by driving and talking on a cellphone no matter if it’s handheld or hands-free. Having a cellphone in your hand while driving isn’t much different, because 85 percent or greater of the motoring community only drive with one hand. So where’s the problem? It’s in the brain. We can only do one thing at a time with our conscious mind. Have you ever had two people talking to you at the same time, you may hear but a lot of information is missed. We only have ONE conscious mind and that’s what we need in order to safely drive a motor vehicle. Studies have proven driving and talking on a cellphone in hand or hand-free is dangerous.
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. as we discuss in detail the newly released “Ask A Cop” article. You can also tune in via ksapthebreeze.org. Ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Now you can make a comment or ask via TEXT 409-748-6106. Remember to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 409-983-8673 for 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 always approach and “Ask A Cop!”