In an interview, Officer Steven Wallace of the Argyle Police Department’s traffic division answers a few of the most frequently asked questions about driving etiquette and Texas traffic laws in a two-part series.
When approaching a four-way stop sign, which car has the right of way?
“It is common courtesy that the vehicle to your right has the right of way,” said Officer Wallace. “But just because you might have the right of way, you still need to make sure the other drivers are following this same rule. Make eye contact with each driver to be sure they see you. This also lets the driver know that you’re about to enter the intersection.”
When an emergency vehicle, with flashing lights or the siren activated, approaches you from either direction, what do you do?
“You are required by law to move to the right and stop,” said Officer Wallace. “If you are unable to move to the right, then slow down and leave enough room so that the emergency vehicle can pass your vehicle safely.”
When a police car, fire truck, tow truck or Texas Department of Transportation vehicle is stopped on the side of the road with the emergency lights turned on, what should you do?
“You are required by law to either move or slow down. What this means is if you’re on a two-lane roadway, both lanes going in the same direction, you must vacate the closest lane to the emergency vehicle. If you are unable to move over, then you’re required by law to slow down to 20 mph under the posted speed limit.
“If you’re on a single-lane road, then you’re required to slow down by 20 mph under the posted speed limit. If you’re on a single-lane road and cross into the oncoming traffic lane, you’re still in violation if you do not slow down. You could also be cited for driving on the wrong side of the road,” Officer Wallace said.
When approaching a red light or stop sign, where do you stop?
“State law states that all vehicles should stop before the solid white stop line [or] crosswalk or before entering the intersection,” said Officer Wallace. “White stop lines are painted across the pavement lanes at traffic signs or signals. When these lines are present, stop behind the stop line. If no white lines are present, then you must stop before the intersection.
“If you stop behind a white line or a crosswalk and you are unable to see because of some type of obstruction, you are allowed to move forward until you can see clearly. Just remember that the front of your car might be sticking out into the roadway, which could cause an accident.”
Argyle Senior Center celebrated St. Patrick’s Day
The Argyle Senior Center celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a pot luck luncheon, bingo games and recognition of the March birthdays of Mary Schluter and Larry Smith.
Those attending signed a get-well card for Jack Beddingfield, a Senior Center member who fell and broke his hip recently. Last fall, Jack, along with six other U.S. World War II veterans received the French Legion of Honor. The medal of Chevalier in the French Order of the Legion of Honor was presented to the recipients by French consul general Sujiro Seam at the Dallas City Hall.
Jack was 18 when he was drafted into the Army, and after three months of basic training in Florida, he was sent to Europe and assigned to the 30th Infantry Division’s light machine gun section.
His division was on its way to Normandy, France, when they landed on Omaha Beach a few days after D-Day, the day over 160,000 allied troops landed on the Normandy beaches.
When Jack’s division marched to Normandy, the German forces began launching battles known as the Battle of the Bulge to cut through the allied forces.
Jack was sent to the Germany-France border, and by January 1, 1945, the allied forces were driving the German’s back.
On Jan. 16, Jack was hit in the back by a bullet that ricocheted off the ice from a German tank. He was taken to a hospital in England, where he had surgery, and stayed in the hospital until his release May 8, 1945, the same day the war ended.
The Argyle Senior Center meets every Wednesday and Friday in the Argyle Town Hall Community Room, 308 Denton St. Exercise begins at 10 a.m. followed by card games at 11 a.m.
For more information, call Stella McDaniel at 940-464-7438 or visit the website at www.argyleseniorcenter.com.
LYNN SHEFFIELD SIMMONS is founder and past president of the North Texas Book Festival Inc. She is the author of 10 children’s books and two history books on Argyle. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.