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Town Marshal Update July 2020

S-1 Tom Fitch

From the Desk of Town Marshal


Tom M. Fitch II, Marshal
Shipshewana Police Department


I would like to take this time to remind everyone that as of July 1st, 2020 a new Indiana distracted driving law comes into effect.  The new Indiana law PROHIBITS drivers of motor vehicles in Indiana from holding or operating a cell phone or similar electronic device while the vehicle is in motion.  Remember that this also applies to tablets, computers, or any other electronic device.  Exemptions to the law include any hands-free or voice operated devices or pushing a button to activate such devices.  Another exemption allows drivers to dial 911 during emergencies while vehicles are in motion.  The new law makes it a class C infraction with fines up to $500 and penalties to include loss of license for multiple offenses.  According to the Indiana State Police the use of a cellular device increases your chances of getting into a crash by 400%.  Other states that have enacted distracted driving laws have reduced their accident fatalities by 15%, which would save over 130 Indiana lives!

            As a local law enforcement official, I feel it prudent to remind everyone that Shipshewana is known for its many attractions and events that attracted numerous fine people from all over the country.  The large influx of vehicular and pedestrian traffic creates a situation where there is absolutely no place for distracted driving.  Our citizens and visitors are priority number one and as such our officers will be enforcing our state’s distracted driving laws.  As a community please help us by not using your device while driving and passing the word on this important law.


Tom Fitch, Marshal
Shipshewana Police Department