ASK A COP — Is it too late to turn on blinker when stopped at corner?

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Troy asks: My girlfriend and I are at odds about signaling in a motor vehicle when headed straight but suddenly deciding to turn at a traffic light. Lets say I am the first car in the outside lane at a traffic signal and the light is red, but something come up and I decide I need to turn right. Can I put on my signal and turn right?

Answer: I’m not certain who, you or your girlfriend, said this can be done legally. But the answer is “NO.” In Texas, operators of a motor vehicle must signal continuously at least 100 feet before making any turn. Failing to properly signal while operating a motor vehicle is a commonly observed violation by law enforcement officers. There’s a very good reason why it’s necessary and a good thing to notify others of your intent by activating your signal. At the heart of it is crash prevention, injury prevention, as well as traffic fatality.

Carol asks: If I am a licensed driver, do I have to have my license in my possession while driving a motor vehicle? My friend was dropping her daughter off to school because she missed the school bus. She was stopped and received a ticket because she didn’t have her license on her. If you can determine if I have a license, why would I get a ticket if you know I have a license? I don’t understand this one. Please help me.

Answer: The state of Texas Transportation Code 521.025 states a driver MUST present a valid driver’s license when demanded by a police officer. Even if the officer checks the status of the name you have given him and the officer has determined you are a state license holder, you still have to be able to produce the license when demanded. It’s so serious about having a license in your possession that a police officer can stop ANY vehicle he/she desires without a traffic violation being committed just to check if the driver has a valid license in their possession. ALWAYS carry your license. If you are involved in a crash and because of your injuries you are unable to communicate to first responders, how are we going to know who is in the vehicle or what family members to contact?

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the crew of Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I. Washington and Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM, The Breeze radio station every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. Tune in via the Internet at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in questions live at 409-982-0247. Email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 for voice mail or mail them to 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always approach and “Ask A Cop!”