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Uncommon Indiana Traffic Infractions That Police Commonly Enforce

Motorists tend to appreciate that police officers have a job to do, and that sometimes that job can be a tough one. By and large, motorists tend to agree that certain traffic violations require direct intervention. People who speed, drive through red lights, recklessly weave in-and-out of traffic, and drive at night without headlights, need to be stopped. However, most motorists are unfamiliar with how expansive the Motor Vehicle Code can be and the extent to which law enforcement officers stop motorists and enforce its more obscure provisions.

Some of the most the most regularly enforced, yet less known, provisions include:

  • Failure to Signal Turn (or Lane Change) for the Proper Distance – under Indiana Code 9-21-8-25, a motorist must signal their turn (or lane change) for at least 200 feet when traveling in a speed zone of less than 50 MPH, and must signal their turn (or lane change) for at least 300 feet when traveling in a speed zone of 50 MPH or more.
  • Nonfunctioning License Plate Light – under Indiana Code 9-19-6-4, a motorist's vehicle must have a functioning license plate light that illuminates the rear registration plate with white light, which makes the plate clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear of the vehicle. The license plate light must function so as to illuminate whenever the vehicle's headlamps are lighted.
  • Loads Extending Beyond the Body of Vehicle – under Indiana Code 9-21-7-7, a red lamp must be placed on the end of any load extending 4 or more feet beyond the body of the vehicle. This requirement occurs if the load is being transported after sunset or when the weather prohibits good visibility. Otherwise, a red flag – 12 inches square – must be attached to the end of the load instead.
  • Improperly Mounted (Temporary) License Plate – under Indiana Code 9-18-2-26, a vehicle's license plate must be securely fastened in a horizontal position upon the rear of the vehicle, at least 12 inches from the ground (measuring from the bottom of the plate). However, an interim plate, under Indiana Code 9-32-6-11(f), can be displayed on the left side of the rear window of the motor vehicle that is clearly visible, unobstructed, and affixed to the window itself.
  • Obstructed License Plate – under Indiana Code 9-18-2-26, a vehicle's license plate must be mounted in a place and position that are clearly visible, free from foreign materials, and not obstructed or obscured by "tired, bumpers, accessories, or other opaque objects."
  • Failing to Properly Yield to An Emergency Vehicle – under Indiana Code 9-21-8-35, if an emergency vehicle is using its siren or has activated its flashing lights, a motorist must: (1) yield the right-of-way, and (2) if possible, move to a lane not adjacent to the lane being used by the emergency vehicle; or (3) if a lane change is impossible, reduce speed the speed of the vehicle to at least 10 MPH below the posted speed limit.
There are countless other regulations and requirements placed upon licensed members of the motoring public. And, every individual driving a car upon Indiana roads is bound by them. If you are concerned about a vehicle regulation or compliancequirement, or if you have been issued a motor vehicle citation/violation, contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP at (317) 857-0160 or 1-800-NOT GUILTY.