What the Purple Paint Law Means for Indiana Residents

Indiana residents now have a choice for how to best protect their property from trespassers. They can use fences, signs, and, now, purple paint to warn the public to stay off of property. This is a new way residents can communicate the “no trespassing” message. With the law in place, residents have an alternative way to establish a boundary with outsiders.

As of last Sunday, July 1st, 2018, House Bill 1233, also known as the Purple Paint Law, was enacted in Indiana. The law allows residents to put lines of purple spray paint on trees or posts in front of their homes in place of “no trespassing” signs.

Advantages the Purple Paint Law

Proponents of the law believe using purple paint offers convenience, clear visibility, and a way to prohibit intruders without using signs that may get shot, torn down or damaged from weather. The law provides a solution for residents with “no trespassing” signs that get consistently damaged or removed. Spraying paint can be cheaper than replacing signs over and over.

“Instead of putting up a sign, which can get ripped down, shot or destroyed in some other way, they think that by painting a purple line everybody will understand,” Daviess County Chief Deputy Gary Allison said, according to Kristi Sander of the Washington Times Herald. “There are a few other states that do this,” Allison said. “I think we are the sixth state that has enacted it.”

In some states, like Texas, the purple paint indication is used to specifically prohibit hunting. The message it communicates is designed to protect people, animals and property on the land.

The demarcation must be three to five feet high and eight inches long, according to the Wane.com interview of State Representative Dave Wolkins. “This is an efficient, simple way for landowners to keep trespassers out,” said Wolkins. “It will also help minimize a property owner’s liability, prevent accidental trespassing and make it easier to prosecute trespassers. Because the paint cannot be easily removed, it can be effective for several years.”

What Happens to “No Trespassing” Signs?

Horizontal Keep Out No Trespassing Sign

Homeowners with “no trespassing” signs will by not impacted by this law, as those signs are still considered valid. You can still purchase and post warning signs – both paint and signs can be used to keep trespassers away.

Posting signs provides an indisputable and recognizable message. Indiana residents may still prefer traditional signs which are versatile and can be positioned intentionally throughout property. Signs can be moved or placed in a visible location. Signs can be customized with a precise message tailored for your property. Also, some people prefer the aesthetic look of a warning sign versus painting their property.

However, lawmakers suggest the purple marking may be more noticeable and longer lasting. It can’t be removed or taken down. Choosing a sign versus purple paint may depend on the landscape of your property and the neighboring areas. If signs are continually damaged, paint is probably preferable. If you are in an area where people are not aware of the new law, having a legible sign may be a better precaution.

With the new law, families have more options for communicating with the public and protecting their homes. The Purple Paint Law gives Indiana residents another way to look out for the safety of their homes. However, the law may need to be in place for some time before the public becomes familiar with the message.

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