Monday, April 14, 2008
Funeral Processions Part 2
Q: Regarding this funeral procession right of way question - I am from Lafayette and the interpretation of it there is based on the right of way "in traffic" i.e. the flow of traffic - they
don't interpret it to mean the entire roadway. I am having a hard time getting used to the way folks up here do it - seems unnecessary and frustrating to us! What I want to know is why is the way this is interpreted not consistent throughout the state? Down there you would not dream of crossing through their traffic, even if there is a big gap and you would not pull out in their traffic or anything like that but if they are going one way and you are going the opposite way then everyone keeps going.

A: You are correct. The state law I referred to before states that processions have the right of way, however vehicles are permitted to pass on the left of the procession when safe and legal to do so. Oncoming traffic is not required to yield to the procession, however processional vehicles do have the right of way for cross traffic at intersections as an example. I hope this clears the law up for you.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 1:53 AM  
Moving Over for Police Vehicles
Q: When officers have to pull over someone why do officers not get off the road completely? That is so unsafe for you when you are out of your vehicle and then people have to go around you which increases the likelihood of a collision with cars coming from the other way and you could get injured. I worry every time I see one of you guys in the road like that, people don't pay attention like they should. It seems very dangerous for you guys to be in that position.

A: Personally, I am very selective about where and when I am pulling vehicles over. I will wait until I feel it is personally safe for myself to do so (good oncoming visibility, roads less traveled, etc). This is not always possible however, for many reasons. Often persons do not stop in or off road properly and I have to position my car in a certain way to provide cover for myself and the motorist I am contacting, so with this in mind, the short answer is I try but in the real world it is not always feasible.

This is a good time to point out that Indiana law requires motorists to exercise caution when approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the roadside with emergency lights activated.

Motorists are required to change lanes away from the emergency vehicle if they can do so safely. If unable, they must slow down and proceed with caution. Police ask motorists to do what they expect of others if they were on the roadside changing a flat tire. Give our emergency workers room to work.

Motorists found in violation of this law can face up to a $10,000 dollar fine. Violations culminating in property damage or injuries can result in the suspension of their driver’s license for a minimum of 90 days up to two years. This is in addition to any other penalties imposed by the courts.

Indiana emergency vehicles include:

* Police vehicles
* Ambulances
* Fire trucks and rescue equipment
* Highway incident-response vehicles
* Highway work vehicles
* Vehicle recovery equipment (tow trucks)

The intent of this law is to protect the emergency and highway personnel who serve the public. Please be alert when you see emergency lights and give them room to do their job.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 1:46 AM  
Stopping For Transpo Bus
Q: I want to know why folks up here don't STOP when a city bus is stopped and has that big red neon STOP in their back windows lit up? They just go around them into the other lane of traffic - what if someone was crossing the street or something? Where I am from, if the back of the bus says stop then you stop and wait till everyone has gotten on or off and the bus starts up again. I see this happen a lot, especially in Mishawaka. I stop and wait and people behind me get all annoyed and go out and around me and the bus.

A: Actually you are not required to stop for city buses. Under Indiana law, only school buses with flashing lights and extended stop arms require all lanes of traffic to stop. The STOP light on Transpo buses is simply acting as a third brake light to let you know the bus itself is stopping. As a courtesy, traffic should slow down, and if permissible then pass safely on the left. This may explain the annoyed drivers you are encountering.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 1:41 AM  
Can I Get Hired With OWI Conviction?
Q:I was thinking about becoming a Police Officer, but I had a DUI in 2002. I have never been arrested other than that. I haven't had any problems since then. I have always wanted to be a police officer is this going to stop me from becoming one. That is why I never tried. I am currently applying [at another department].

A: I can't answer for other departments, however your past history and criminal offenses do weigh in heavily in considerations for officer candidates. In our case, a OWI (DUI) conviction will typically exclude an applicant from further consideration for employment.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 1:37 AM  
Monday, April 07, 2008
Ticket for Stop Sign
Q:Can you get a ticket for disregarding a stop sign in a parking lot since it is public property?

A: Yes. Police officers can enforce this on both private and public roadways.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 12:00 PM  
Fishing in River?
Q: Are the fish we catch from the St. Joe river okay to eat? Who would be a good person to ask this question of?

A: I'm no fisherman but you may try contacting the Indiana Dept of Natural Resources for more information!

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 11:56 AM  
Waiver on Age for Hiring?
Q: Regarding officer hiring, what about a waiver as far as age is concerned. I'm 47 and would like to see if I qualify for any SBPD Position, I'm currently in San Diego CA, former resident of South Bend and thinking about moving back home.

A: Unfortunately state law requires officer be no older than 36 at the date of hire to participate in PERF (Public Employee Retirement Fund) benefits as an officer. There are no exceptiosn or waivers made.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 11:51 AM  

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