ASK A COP — What should motorists do when school zone lights don’t match the posted times
Published 12:12 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Penny asks: If the flashing school zone lights are out in the school zone during school zone time, are we required by law to abide by the speed sign on the school zone signal that’s NOT functioning?
Answer: Every school zone that’s equipped with warning school zone flasher lights WILL ALSO have the posted times of the school zone on the sign. The state of Texas requires the times be posted notifying ALL motorist the times that the school zone is active, because just as sure as we live the school zone, flashers will malfunction. In the event the lights are malfunctioning, you are still held to obey the posted warning of the school zone speed and time. I’ve observed school zone lights flashing on the weekends, so with that said, the posted sign trumps the flashing light. Pay attention to the sign.
Omell asks: A couple of weeks ago I was traveling to Houston and when I got on interstate 10 the speed limit dropped to 65 mph, but it seemed like nobody was going slower than 75 mph. Would that be a reasonable speed since EVERYONE is doing it, or would it still be considered speeding?
Answer: You are in control of the vehicle, not the vehicle is in control of you. I know it’s either tempting of intimidating to join the crowd, but when you KNOWINGLY OR UNKNOWINGLY travel above the posted speed limit, YOU are violating the state law of SPEEDING. The best plan of action is get over to the far right lane and let the speeders have it, but you continue to drive legal either at or BELOW the posted speed limit sign. Don’t ever let someone alter you driving behavior because they are in a hurry or just simply want to speed, unless it’s for the safety of yourself or other motorists on the roadway. Always ask yourself this question when wanting to join speeders. If I was in a department store and everyone was picking up items and running out without paying for them, would I join them or go the register like I’m supposed to and redeem the items?
Dacon asks: I was traveling on the road and met two police cars going in the opposite direction. I must truthfully admit I noticed at that time I was going over the posted speed limit. But they didn’t stop. So what do I do? I conveniently set my cruise control that’s installed in my vehicle. But to my dismay, I was pulled over a little further down the road by a different police officer. He told me he was informed by the first officer that I was speeding. I believe he was a younger officer trying to make a name for himself. I was always told if the officer doesn’t catch you when you are speeding, we are off the hook, so to speak. Is this procedure or have I been bamboozled?
Answer: The police officer who observed the violation does NOT have to be the officer who stops your vehicle and issues a citation. When an officer observes a violation, time is on the officer’s side as to when he shall issue the citation. In your case, that is routine operation within the law enforcement community. Officers often radio other officers and advise them of what they observed. The other officer now has probable cause to stop said vehicle and issue a citation on the statement of another officer. ANY law enforcement officer in the state of Texas has two years from the date they witnessed a Class C misdemeanor to issue any person a citation. They can contact the appropriate court and have you subpoenaed to answer a complaint that could be a year old. So if you don’t violate the Texas Transportation Code, you have nothing to concern yourself about.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!”