Vehicles, animals and horns

By Scott Mellinger
Madison County sheriff

For this month, I’d like to address some random questions we receive periodically.
Junk vehicle complaints
If a motor vehicle is inoperable, unlicensed and visible to the public for more than 20 days, it is technically declared a “junk vehicle” by statute.
Our deputies do not cruise the streets looking for these violations, but when the public calls and complains, we do take action.
A bright-colored sticker is affixed to one of the windows, and on the sticker is the official request for the owner to move the vehicle or place it under cover.
If the vehicle is not moved or covered within the time period specified on the sticker (24 hours if along a roadway, 72 hours on any other property), law enforcement will have the vehicle towed at the owner’s expense.
Wildlife potentially causing issues
From time to time, someone calls 911 because “there is a squirrel running through my house” and the caller is scared.
In the past, we would forward the call to Department of Natural Resources or conservation officers, but they are so spread out through the state, and quite busy, and they typically have us call a specialist, private contractor, to remove the animal.
Recently a lady contacted me at my office about a fox that had nested near her home, and she felt that the fox had attacked her pet dog.
I was given two names of these “contractors” by DNR to call to help these people get the fox moved to another location.
The bottom line is our deputies are not required to remove these animals, even though they sometimes do.
An odd Indiana law
Use of horn on motor vehicle: The horn shall be sounded when reasonably necessary for safety, but the horn is not to be used for any other purpose while upon a highway.