ASK A COP — What must a driver share when at the scene of a crash?

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Frank asks: If I’m involved in an accident, can I leave the accident? If I do leave the accident before police arrive, what information am I required by the state of Texas to give to the other driver?

Answer: This is something that every motorist should be aware of if we’re ever involved in a crash in Texas. “YES,” you are allowed to leave the scene of a crash as long as you surrender to the other party involved certain information. According to the Texas Transportation Code 550.203, if anyone is involved in a crash where someone is injured, vehicle damaged or death of a person, you shall surrender NAME, ADDRESS, REGISTRATION NUMBER and INSURANCE INFORMATION (to any person(s) injured), and driver’s license if requested. Normally, law enforcement officers are dispatched to the scene where all parties involved are still on the scene. If someone leaves the scene of a crash without providing all of the above information, they are committing a crime. Everyone has cellphones, so it may be advantageous to have photos of your vehicle, the other vehicle, license plates and driver/occupants. Never leave the scene of a crash if someone is complaining of an injury until the proper medical personnel are on scene.

Peter asks: I was debating with a friend about NOT signing a ticket that was issued by a police officer. It’s not that she refused to sign the ticket, but the police officer somehow must have omitted to acquire her signature because it’s not on the ticket? Is the ticket still valid if she didn’t sign it?

Answer: When someone is issued a citation, commonly known as a ticket, by a police officer in the state of Texas, the usual procedure is to have the person issued the citation to sign it as a promise to appear before the court on or before a specified date and time. If there was no signature on your friend’s citation, warn her it’s still a VALID document, and they should address the court about the charge(s) on the citation. The court will normally subpoena any person who received a citation that doesn’t have an accused violator’s signature, and hasn’t appeared by the court date listed on the citation.

Janice asks: My grandson was getting on me for not setting my parking brake when I exited my vehicle. He even went on to say I could be ticketed, or even arrested if I don’t set my parking brake before leaving my car. I asked him where did he hear such foolishness, and his answer was from Officer Antoine at his driving class. Is it against the law in Texas to exit your vehicle and not set the parking brake even if you turned the vehicle off first?

Answer: Your grandson appears to have been very attentive in my class and has absorbed some knowledge that you don’t have. Your grandson is 100 percent correct to say that in Texas, it is illegal to park your vehicle without setting the parking brake. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a flat or incline plain surface, you MUST set your parking brake upon exiting your vehicle in Texas. Failure to do so could result in a citation or arrest for the violation. Thank your grandson and go set your parking brake.

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!”