ASK A COP — Can we cut through parking lots to avoid traffic lights?

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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Jason from Beaumont asks: I travel to work everyday and observe vehicles cutting through parking lots to avoid the traffic light. I’m not certain about the legality of this action, so I ask you. Is it illegal to cut through a parking lot because you don’t want to sit through a red traffic light?

Answer: Yes, Yes, Yes, cutting through a parking simply to avoid a traffic light or stop sign is ILLEGAL in the state of Texas and almost everywhere. This is where patience has to exercised with many motorist in Southeast Texas and beyond. The act of beating the light by refusing to wait your turn is really a rude act that’s kin to when we are at the store and someone cuts in line. The state of Texas Transportation Code states drivers may not cross a sidewalk or drive through a drive way, parking lot or business or residential entrance without stopping the vehicle. We hope more motorists can learn to exercise some patience while on the roads of Southeast Texas and stop cutting through parking lots. It normally carries up to a $200 fine if found guilty in the municipal court.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Royce from Orange asks: I had a pretty bad slump a couple of years ago and received three moving violation tickets in one year. Believe me when I tell you I’ve paid for it in more ways than one. Today, I’m a different driver. The cities of Orange and Port Arthur aren’t getting any more money from me. I didn’t realize how costly getting caught breaking the law was. I’m not angry at the police officers, just myself for getting caught. How long do points stay on my driving record for moving violations?

Answer: That was a difficult driving year for you, especially if you were convicted on all the moving violations. Points are assessed by the state of Texas for traffic convictions. Once the conviction has been added to your record, points are assigned and remain on the record for three years from the date of conviction. Don’t think you’re off the hook if you get a ticket out of the state of Texas, because 2 points are assessed for a Texas or out-of-state traffic conviction. Contact the local municipal court where you were convicted and they can inform you of your conviction date and count forward 3 years from that date. That’s when points are scheduled to come off your driving record.

Lynn from Nederland asks: I was stopped the other day by a police officer, and to my surprise I realized I didn’t have my wallet with me. The officer was able to determine I had insurance through his computer but drilled me about my license. He seemed to ask me the same questions over and over at different times. If the police officers are able to determine if I have insurance by their computer, why can’t this same process be applied for a license?

Answer: The quick simple answer is because one is illegal and the other isn’t illegal. The state of Texas has several ways an officer can verify whether a motorist has insurance coverage on their motor vehicle. You can present a paper copy, a digital copy (cellphone) or through police computers. If you don’t have your insurance card on you, we have the ability to determine if you have current insurance coverage on vehicles. On the other hand, the state of Texas requires ALL motorists to be able to display their driver’s license on demand from any law enforcement officer. It’s a much easier process for law enforcement officers to determine if your vehicle is covered than for us to determine who we’ve stopped. Some motorists or passengers lie to law enforcement officers about their true identities. So maybe you can understand a little better now why you were questioned in that manner. You never know when you’re gonna need it. Keep your driver’s license readily accessible to you when you leave your home.

Join Me, Officer 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 to 3 p.m. and beyond. Call in questions at 409-982-0247. You can also email questions to or leave a voicemail at 409-983-8673. Mail them to Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always “Ask A Cop!”