Is it Legal to Wave at a Police Officer While Driving in Texas?
Driving with my family in the car, as we were in the left-hand turn lane at the traffic light, I noticed a police officer in another lane. As I made the turn, I waved at the officer, as a gesture of being friendly, and silently said the words, as I always do: "Dear God, please get him home safe to his family."
That's when my 21-year-old daughter in the passenger seat asked the question, "Dad, do you wave at every cop you see? I swear, you are like a three-year-old kid." She went on to add, "I think it's against the law to wave at cops when you're driving, Dad."
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So, I reached out to a couple of my police officer friends who answered the question. All said no, it was not against the law. Just to be sure, I called the Abilene Police Department's Public Information Officer, Rick Tomlin. He made a whole lot of sense with his response:
We love friendly folks, and waving to an officer, in general, is okay as long as it does not distract either driver. As a reminder, officers need to be focused on the task at hand when they are working a crash or stopped with a vehicle on the side of the road for the safety of our citizens.
I guess my waving at police officers is part of my Texas heritage. As a matter of fact, I learned it from the signs on the side of the road as seen above, "Drive friendly, the Texas way." Finally, I'm wondering, could my waving be a form of distracted driving? This brings up the entirely different subject of "distracted driving." Just pay attention and drive.