ASK A COP — Can you legally straddle spots in a parking lot?

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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Lisa asks: I observed something that has my eyebrows raised and left me scratching my head. I see this huge truck park and cover 2 1/2 parking spots at Lowe’s and out of the blue comes a police car. Now I’m sitting back getting ready for the officer to give a ticket to the driver because parking like that was totally wrong. To my surprise the officer just passed the truck like the parking violation didn’t exist. Is there a reason why the officer passed the truck without addressing the parking violation?

Answer: The answer to this is simply the parking violation that you described is NOT a parking violation. I know it seems as though it should be, but in Texas it’s not. That’s the reason, I’m sure, why the officer just passed by without addressing the truck’s parking situation. Texas police officers ONLY enforce disabled parking and fire zone violations in Texas. That doesn’t mean you’re completely “out of the woods” when it comes to taking up extra lanes on private property. The manager of said establishment can call and have your vehicle towed at the owner’s expense. So bad parkers beware.

Keith asks: Every time my wife goes to pick up our daughter from daycare, she always parks in the no parking zone. She leaves the flashers on because she plans to run in and out. She says she does it because she’ll be right back. I told her this is still illegal, but she doesn’t believe so.

Answer: The very reason why your wife turns on her hazard lamps is because she knows she’s doing something illegal. For some reason, people believe hazard lamps are the passageway to breaking the state of Texas laws, but hazard lamps don’t excuse willful transgressors of the law. If you make up your mind to park in a no parking zone, understand you are violating state law, and your hazard lambs don’t magically give you clearance to break any of the state parking laws.

Marcus asks: I’m having a discussion with my friend about expired registration stickers on apartment complexes. Of course it’s private property, but can the apartment complex have my vehicle towed just for an expired registration sticker?

Answer: Apartment complex communities are private properties, therefore, they can set and establish whatever policies they want to declare and enforce on their property. Most complexes require your stickers be current because they don’t want their complex parking lot to turn into a vehicle salvage yard. It would do you some good to read the lease signed upon moving in. I’m sure it’s there. Again, apartment complexes can establish their own rules. I have heard locally there is a complex that will have a vehicle towed if they back into the parking space instead of pulling in to a parking space. What’s strange is it’s proven safer to back in and pull out, than to pull in and back out. You have choices you can either comply or find a different location to reside.

Join Me, Officer Antoine and the CREW 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 every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. You can also tune in via Call in live at 409-982-0247. Email questions to, call 409-983-8673 or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you see me in public, you are always free and comfortable to approach and “Ask A Cop!”