ASK A COP — Can you be ticketed for wearing a seatbelt incorrectly?

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tammie from Orange asks: I’m loving the column on Wednesdays in the Orange Leader. I’m hoping you can assist me with a seatbelt question. I always wear my seatbelt off my shoulder because of a surgical procedure I had more than five years ago. The seatbelt seems irritate the area. My grandson took a driving class you taught him three years ago and told me he remembered you saying that wearing your seatbelt incorrectly was illegal. I can clearly prove my procedure to any officer, but is it illegal to wear my belt off my shoulder if I’ve clicked it and I’m actually wearing the seatbelt?

Answer: You should be proud of your grandson because he is absolutely correct concerning the state of Texas seatbelt usage. Remember this, “if it’s NOT on right, it’s NOT on at all!” Seatbelts are only tested for safety while worn correctly: that’s from shoulder across chest then across waist area. If you alter the usage of a seatbelt, you can be stopped and cited for NOT wearing the seatbelt. There’s no charge for improper wearing of the seatbelt in Texas. You either wear it (seatbelt) right or you don’t have it on at all.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Aleen from Port Arthur asks: When I approach a boulevard and want to turn, I was under the impression that I was supposed to go to the furthest side of the boulevard and turn. But today, I’m not to sure about this because every time I try to do that, a vehicle traveling the opposite direction is ALWAYS in the spot waiting to turn. I question if I’m right or if they are wrong. Help clear this up for me.

Answer: When turning at a boulevard, the driver should go to the opposite side of the boulevard in order to LEGALLY complete a turn. The way you know to turn is what the state of Texas allows, the other drivers are wrong and they are causing unnecessary vehicle pile up and stoppage on the roadway. If this confuses you, always consider this: if there was a stop sign on the boulevard where you want to turn, where would it be according to the direction traffic will flow? The passenger door should be near the curb when correctly turning on a boulevard. Both driver doors should be next to each other if two vehicles are turning at the same time.

Rob from Port Arthur asks: A past question answered talked about a person stopped by a law enforcement officer must IDENTIFY themselves. Can you give us clarification on when we MUST identify ourselves when encountering a law enforcement officer?

Answer: In a previous column I stated that if you are arrested or detained, you must by state law identify yourself. The correct answer is you MUST identify yourself to law enforcement officer under three instances: if you are carrying a handgun on or about your person and have a LTC license-to-carry permit holder (see Texas Government Code 411.205), or an operator of a motor vehicle and you’re stopped, and, lastly, if you are ARRESTED. You are not compelled in the state of Texas to identify yourself at any other time no matter how persistent the officer may be about identifying yourself to him/her. Once again, I’ll say that if you haven’t done anything wrong, are not on the run from the judicial system and the officer has identified himself, what would stop you from identifying who you are? But it’s your state-given right NOT to identify yourself if you’re not carrying a handgun with a LTC license, arrested or driving a motor vehicle. At no time during an encounter with law enforcement officers are you permitted to LIE about your identity.

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 rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, 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!”