Did you know that pedestrian deaths make up almost 16% of the total traffic deaths in the United States? Because these numbers have only increased over the years, the pedestrian laws in Idaho are getting more and more strict.
While it may be tempting to quickly cross the road, you should always know your Idaho pedestrian laws before you potentially break the law. The following text will provide you with some of the basic and not-so basic pedestrian laws in Idaho.
Basic Idaho Pedestrian Laws
Despite the long stretches of natural beauty and scenic highways in Idaho, the gem state has its own set of pedestrian laws designed to protect you. Because it’s so dangerous to recklessly cross the road, we’ve outlined some of the most efficient ways to follow Idaho’s pedestrian laws. One way is by understanding the Idaho’s right-of-way laws and knowing who’s supposed to yield to who.
In Idaho, if you’re at a crosswalk and there are no traffic signals in place or in operation, the driver of the vehicle must yield the right-of-way by slowing down or stopping for the pedestrian to cross. If a driver is crossing a sidewalk then they also must yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian waiting to cross.
Crossing the Crosswalk in Idaho
All Idahoan drivers and pedestrians should know about the two types of crosswalks in Idaho, how to spot them, and what the pedestrian laws actually require them to do. For starters, here are the two types of crosswalks in Idaho:
A marked crosswalk is fairly easy to spot. It’s identified with a set of white lines that are painted accordingly across the roadway or intersection. When pedestrians come to a marked crosswalk, the walkway typically has a traffic signal, directing them to cross or to wait until it’s their turn to cross.
As a driver, you should always slow down or come to a full stop when approaching one of these marked cross ways. Otherwise, you’re technically breaking the law and even more so putting a pedestrian at risk of getting hit by your vehicle.
Unmarked crosswalks might be a bit more difficult to spot but are actually much more common than the marked ones. The reason for this is because not every walkway or intersection in local neighborhoods are marked with those bright, white striped lines.
When an unmarked crosswalk does not have a traffic control device, drivers are required by law to follow the same rules as if they were approaching a marked crosswalk. Something important to keep in mind is if a driver is trying to make a right turn at the crosswalk, they must first allow the pedestrian to cross the walkway.
Traffic control devices are practically the map to an intersection, or the guidelines, per say. They help pedestrians, motorists, and other vehicles safely navigate through heavily trafficked areas, such as highway intersections and inner city crosswalks. When intersections have signs directing pedestrians to cross, it’s not only safer to follow them and avoid getting hit by a car but it’s required by law to do so.
Simple rules to follow at an intersection are: to always wait for the traffic signal before you cross (when there is one), drivers must yield to pedestrians already waiting to cross, and drivers who are crossing the intersection should always slow down or be prepared to come to a complete stop.
Miscellaneous Idaho Pedestrian Laws
- Handicapped Pedestrian Rules: In all instances, pedestrians who are visually or hearing impaired automatically have the right-of-way when crossing the street. Drivers should always look out for blind pedestrians holding a white cane or a hearing-impaired person with a hearing aid dog when coming to a crosswalk or intersection.
- Highway Rules: Where there is a walkway available on the highway, all pedestrians must use it. It’s extremely dangerous and highly illegal for pedestrians to walk along the roadway when a sidewalk has been provided. If there’s no sidewalk, then the pedestrian can use common sense to walk along the outer edge of the roadway.
- Soliciting Rides: Under no circumstances should a pedestrian intend to stand on the side of a highway to solicit rides from drivers. It’s forbidden by the state of Idaho and it’s just dangerous. It’s also highly illegal for pedestrians to stand on the highway to solicit employment or a business in Idaho.
For More Information
As like in most states, jaywalking is illegal in Idaho. Just don’t do it. Don’t risk your life as a pedestrian or risk the driver’s life who may not see you crossing the road. Pedestrians don’t always have the right-of-way but it’s important to understand the pedestrian laws in Idaho.
Keep in mind that the safest way to cross the road as a pedestrian to look both ways, know what to do at marked crosswalks and unmarked crosswalks, and to always abide by the traffic control devices that are set to ensure your safety.
If you’d like to know more about the pedestrian laws in Idaho, here is the Idaho Code to Pedestrian Related Laws rulebook:
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