ASK A COP — How and when can defensive driving be taken?

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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Shane from Orange asks: I understand we are allowed to take defensive driving only once a year. Is that from January to December or 12 months from the time I last took defensive driving?

Answer: With the increase and need for traffic enforcement on the roads of Texas, the state has allowed motorists to take a Defensive Driving course to offset moving violations that have been issued to them. The 12-month period is from the last time you took the defensive driving course. Defensive driving isn’t an automatic option to rid oneself of a citation. There are conditions that must be met before qualifying for a defensive driving course by any court. You must NOT have taken the course in the last 12-month period, must NOT be accused of going 25 mph over the posted speed limit, must NOT drive a vehicle at a speed 95mph or greater, must NOT receive citation in a construction zone, must NOT be cited for passing a stopped school bus, must not possess a Commercial Driver’s License, must prove you have insurance and must NOT be cited for failing to stop and render aid in a crash.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Percy from Vinton, La. asks: I commute from Louisiana to Port Arthur daily, but I’m thinking about relocating to Port Arthur. What do I need to do to get a Texas Driver License? I hope I don’t have to take the driving part over, because I’m so beyond that! Help!

Answer: Welcome to Port Arthur! We hope you can move here or to any of the surrounding communities. Percy, I’ll put your heart at ease and let you know you will NOT have to retake the behind-the-wheel portion to be issued a Texas Driver License. If you currently have an unexpired out-of-state license, you will need to go to the Department of Public Safety office and apply for a Texas license. It’s important to remember Texas allows a new out-of-state resident up to 90 days to get a Texas Driver’s License. You will need to bring your proof of residency, social security card, Texas registration for vehicles and proof of insurance. Remember, once you are a Texan, the clock starts ticking and you have 90 days to get your Texas license.

Emma from Port Arthur asks: If I’m driving down the highway and there’s a person weaving in and out of traffic, almost causing other motorists to run off the road to avoid a collision, should I call the police regular line or 911?

Answer: I do understand you asked this question because you don’t want to tie up the 911 emergency lines with your call, but the scene you just described is an EMERGENCY. We need you and all motorists to be good witnesses and eyes for law enforcement officers to address this aggressive driving behavior. Police officers are not everywhere, but citizens like you are everywhere, and we need and depend on citizens to report any driving behavior that is unsafe and life threatening. We have more people hurt and killed every year in Port Arthur by drivers not paying attention behind the wheel of a motor vehicle than violent crimes committed by gangsters, robbers and thieves. So, next time you see someone driving in such an erratic manner where they are a danger to others and themselves, please pick up the phone, dial 9-1-1 and give a detailed description of the vehicle, your location and direction of travel to the dispatcher.

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 Call in your question live at 409-982-0247. Make a comment or question via TEXT at 409-748-6106. Email 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!”