ASK A COP – Do bikers have to wear helmets? – News from Port Arthur


Eric from Port Arthur asks: Can someone who is a driver / passenger of a motorcycle ride without a helmet? I got a ticket from YOU for not wearing my seat belt in a car, and the other day I saw the driver and passenger of a motorcycle without a helmet. I don’t think you need to ask how it made me feel and I still feel the same. Can you please help me understand?

Reply: There are some laws that I don’t quite agree with in the Transportation Code, but MY job is not to agree; it’s about applying. In Texas, a motorcycle rider and biker are expected to wear helmets when traveling on the roads, UNLESS they have taken a motorcycle safety course or can produce health insurance. The state previously said motorcyclists must have health coverage of at least $ 10,000, but that has since been repealed. The State of Texas believes that the correct use of seat belts in your vehicle saves lives, but at the same time allows motorcyclists to do without them. Wear your seat belt all the time, and if I felt like it, helmets too.

Betty de Groves asks: I wholeheartedly support the police and I think it is sad to see the apparent state of turmoil this country finds itself in with regard to our police officers who serve and protect us. I recently visited my cousin who lives north of our house in Texas. I drove with him to the store and he was using hand signals to turn. I asked him if his light bulb had exploded and he said “yes, about two months ago”. Of course, I switched to “Ask A Cop” mode and advised him to replace it. He told me he wasn’t in a position financially to fix what was broken, so he uses a manual signal until he can. Can he continue this behavior? I thought all the traffic lights were supposed to be working for driving on the roadway?

Reply: Good question Betty! It is one of those questions that a motorist can get around the law. You are right; State law states that ALL exterior lights manufactured and supplied on your vehicle must function properly. But the state of Texas also allows motorists to use hand signals to inform intended movement that their vehicle is stopping or turning right or left. There is no time limit in the transport code that states how long a motorist can drive a vehicle using hand signals. I can only assume that the deadline will expire when your cousin needs a state inspection. Hand signals will not suffice. If the vehicle’s signaling system is not functioning properly, that agency will NOT overtake the vehicle and in turn the registration / inspection system will prevent their vehicle from obtaining a pending registration. If his vehicle is not currently registered, he may receive a citation for it even if he uses hand signals.

Jacqualine from Bridge City asks: Is there a time when a driver can exceed the speed limit without a ticket?

Reply: The quote is believed to have a deterrent effect on future traffic offenses, which in turn will make our automotive community safer. No one wants a citation (ticket), so I hope that the worry of being stopped and being issued a citation will be enough to get motorists to obey the law while operating a motor vehicle. Because we have a higher rate of injuries and deaths among good citizens involving motor vehicles than among bad citizens who are muggers, gangsters and murderers. The state of Texas says in Transportation Code 545.351, that an operator may NOT drive faster than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing. Having said that, there is no quick fix. It will totally depend on the circumstances and the officer to whom you explain the reason for exceeding the posted speed limit. Because consider this, you can be stopped and receive a ticket for speeding even if you go below the posted speed limit …. given if your speed is NOT suitable for weather or road conditions.

Join me, Officer Rickey Antoine, for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for a discussion on Ask A Cop. Connect via the Internet to Call 409-982-0247. Also, don’t forget to email your questions to [email protected], call 409-983-8673 or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always walk freely and comfortably and “Ask A Cop! “


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