7 Idaho Traffic Laws Drivers Commonly Ignore

Idaho drivers commonly forget essential traffic laws, such as the four-way stop rule and passing on the left.

We all know that when we’re behind the wheel, it’s important to obey the rules of the road. But sometimes, even well-meaning drivers end up breaking them without knowing it.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most commonly ignored traffic laws in Idaho. By becoming aware of these laws, you can avoid getting pulled over and ticketed – and more importantly, help keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road.

1. Idaho Slower Traffic Keep Right Law: The “Move Over” Rule

Idaho law says that if you are driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, you must travel in the right lane. If this is not possible, you must drive as far to the right as you can.

You may exit the right lane to pass a slower-moving vehicle or make a left turn. On a controlled-access highway, you can’t stay in the far left lane if you’re impeding lawfully-moving traffic.

Any vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing, shall be driven in the right-hand lane available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the highway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn.

ID Stat. § 49-630

No person shall operate a vehicle in the extreme left-hand lane of a controlled-access highway for a period of time that impedes the flow of other traffic traveling at a lawful rate of speed.

ID Stat. § 49-655

2. Idaho Flow of Traffic Law: The “Minimum Speed” Rule

Make sure you don’t drive too slowly. You can be cited under the Idaho traffic code for traveling so slowly that you interfere with the normal traffic flow.

However, you can move slowly when it’s necessary for safety purposes or to obey the law. This means you don’t need to worry about a ticket if you impede speeding traffic by driving the speed limit.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with the law.

ID Stat. § 49-655

3. Idaho Driving in Left Lane Law: The “Passing on the Left” Rule

In Idaho, you must pass other vehicles on the left. Keep a safe distance from the car you’re passing and stay in the left lane until you’ve completely cleared it.

On a two-lane road, make sure that the left side is free of oncoming traffic before passing. You must be able to pass on the left and return to the right side before coming within 200 feet of an approaching vehicle.

When another driver is passing you, you must yield the right-of-way if they sound their horn. You cannot speed up until they finish passing.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle shall pass to the left at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

ID Stat. § 49-632

No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the highway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, unless the left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken.

In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within two hundred (200) feet of any approaching vehicle.

ID Stat. § 49-634

4. Idaho Rear-End Collision Law: The “Following Too Closely” Rule

According to Idaho traffic laws, you must drive a “reasonable and prudent” space behind the vehicle in front of you. This distance will vary depending on how fast you are moving, road conditions, and traffic.

The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicle, the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.

ID Stat. § 49-638

5. Idaho Mobile Phone Driving Law: The “Hands-Free Driving” Rule

Idaho drivers are prohibited from holding and using mobile phones while driving. But, you can use a phone with hands-free technology. An exception also exists for making emergency phone calls or texting 911.

Except as provided in this subsection, a person shall not operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the use of a mobile electronic device for emergency purposes, or the use of a mobile electronic device in a voice-operated or hands-free mode if the operator of the motor vehicle does not use his hands to operate the device.

ID Stat. § 49-1401A

6. Idaho Four-Way Intersection Law: The “4-Way Stop” Rule

If two vehicles arrive at an uncontrolled intersection at the same time in Idaho, the driver on the right has the right-of-way. The driver on the left must wait to pass through the intersection.

At “T”-shaped intersections, the driver on the street that dead-ends must yield the right of way.

When two (2) vehicles approach or enter an unmarked or uncontrolled intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.

At “T” intersections where one (1) highway ends when it meets a second highway not ending at that point of convergence. When two (2) vehicles approach or enter a “T” intersection from different directions at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the highway ending at the intersection shall yield the right of way to the other vehicle.

ID Stat. § 49-640

7. Idaho Left Turn Intersection Law: The “Right of Way” Rule

When turning left in Idaho, you must yield the right-of-way to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction. If oncoming traffic is close enough to potentially hit you if you turn, you must wait until they are through the intersection.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection, or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

ID Stat. § 49-641

Idaho drivers should be sure to obey all traffic laws in order to avoid fines and tickets. It’s not worth risking your well-being or the safety of others just to save a few minutes on your commute. Stay safe out there!

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>