ASK A COP — Is a driver’s license required for driving in U.S.?

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Jerry asks: I’ve been doing research on driver’s licenses in the United States of America and found out that I don’t need a license to drive in the United States. I just wanted to know was that true or not?

Answer: If you keep this quote in mind you will be on the right track. “Driving is a Privilege. NOT a Right!” I don’t know of a state in the United States of America that doesn’t require an operator of a motor vehicle to have a valid state-issued driver’s license before getting behind the wheel of a moving motor vehicle on the roadway. Remember, anyone can upload a video or enter a statement on You Tube or online, so be careful where and whom you get your information. Just because you can read it online doesn’t mean it’s true. I can’t speak of all states in America, but believe me when I say everyone in Texas who operates a motor vehicle on the roads is required to have a valid state-issued driver’s license on their person. Do not get behind the wheel without it. The state of Texas giveth (driver’s license) and the state of Texas can take it (driver’s license) away! I would love to see you or anyone try to challenge a citation for driving without a valid driver’s license in the municipal court of Port Arthur or ANY court in America.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Roger asks: I’m 23 years old and I’ve been a licensed driver since I was 16 years old. I’m in the market for a new vehicle and love sport cars in bright colors. I seem to get stopped quite often by law enforcement more than others, but my concern is I’m leaning to believe it’s because of the color of my car that attracts police attention. I’ve had yellow and red sport cars in the past. Is there a color on a vehicle that’s less attractive to police pfficers than others?

Answer: The question you present is an ole myth or wives tale about law enforcement officers targeting motorists who operate shiny or colorful cars. To answer your question, “YES,” law enforcement officers are attracted to the color (what ever color that may be) of the vehicle that is committing a CRIME in their presence, like speeding or disregarding traffic signals. It’s nothing wrong with being in love with sport cars, as long as you drive your sports car stays within the posted speed limit on the roadway. Let’s not be so eager to point fingers, and start taking personal responsibility for our driving habits. Being stopped by law enforcement has nothing to do with the color of your vehicle and everything to do with how you are operating said vehicle. I encourage you to buy whatever color vehicle you desire, just adhere to the state of Texas Transportation Code and you should be fine. If you see me on the road, stop and let me check out your new car.

Big R asks: My wife and I need you to settle a disagreement. The other day we were traveling south on 366 (Atlantic Highway). We were behind a school bus when it came to a stop at a railroad crossing. Its red flashing lights were activated. There were cars passing in the left lane. My wife said they were supposed to stop because of the red lights were activated. I said they didn’t need to stop because the bus was at a railroad crossing and not a bus stop. Who’s right? There’s dinner riding on this!

Answer: I absolutely enjoy when couples, family and friends challenge each other with the Texas Transportation Code. You and your wife are in a sticky place with this question because, in theory, both of you are correct. Because, yes, we are supposed to stop when a school bus activates its RED flashing lights, and we are allowed to pass a stopped school bus that MUST stop at ALL real road crossings. But, Big R, you said the school bus was stopped at a railroad crossing with its RED lights activated, and by state law, we are required to STOP. Granted, a school bus should have its Yellow caution lights, not the RED lights activated at railroad crossings. So take a step down and allow your Queen to step up and take her dinner on you because your wife is RIGHT.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the CREW: Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I Washington & Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. and beyond. Listen as we discuss in detail “Ask A Cop.” You can tune in at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in your question live at 409-982-0247. You can make a comment or question via TEXT at 409-748-6106. Email rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov or call 409-983-8673 and leave a voice mail. Mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you see me in public, feel free to “Ask A Cop!”