Statewide vehicle pursuit law takes effect in Indiana on New Year’s Day

Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 12:17 PM EST
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(WNDU) - A law that will impact police departments across Indiana goes into effect on Sunday.

The statewide policy starting Jan. 1 creates minimum standards for how police can pursue suspects.

The policy states a pursuit should not begin or be continued if the need for immediate apprehension is very low and the risk to public safety is high. It also outlines what police officers are required to consider before engaging in a vehicle pursuit:

  • The violation the person is known to have committed, is wanted for or suspected of
  • Imminent danger to the public based on the totality of the circumstances
  • Time of day
  • Officer’s familiarity with the surroundings and population density
  • Potential danger if the offender is not apprehended immediately
  • Positive identification of the driver
  • Other considerations, including but not limited to: vehicle and pedestrian traffic conditions; road conditions, visibility, terrain; speed and capability of the pursued vehicle; and limitations of emergency equipment and vehicles.

You can read the new law in its entirety here: Minimum Standards for Vehicle Pursuits

In South Bend, the police department should not have to make changes in how they operate. South Bend Police already has a vehicle pursuit policy in place that is in line with the new statewide legislation.

You can find that policy here: SBPD Vehicle Pursuits Policy