You Asked: Can You Ever Legally Run a Red Light in Idaho?
A few weeks ago, we shared a list of the most annoying stoplights in the Boise area according to our listeners. While the stoplight that was our nemesis didn’t make the list, we were intrigued by several people saying we could just go through it if it wouldn’t change.
The stoplight in question? Parkcenter and Pennsylvania. Listen, we LOVE Taylor Swift’s new album but there is literally no reason why we should be able to listen to two full songs on Midnights while waiting for that stupid light to turn green so we can hang a left onto Parkcenter at 5:45 a.m. If we’re ever late for work, understand that it’s 100% this light’s fault.
What we found interesting was that during our tirade against that light, someone commented on social media “You can go through it if it's been red too long. That’s legal here.” We’ll fully admit that we didn’t grow up in Idaho, so yeah…we had to read the Idaho driver’s manual and pass the test about 13 years ago.
That manual’s not exactly fresh in our minds, but something about the claim didn’t sound right, so we jumped back in to verify whether this comment section lurker was right or just trying to get us in trouble.
True or False? In Idaho, You Can Legally Run a Red Light If It Won’t Change
Ultimately, we confirmed the social media claim was false…for people driving a car. In most cases, when motorists come to a solid, circular red light they need to stop behind a marked limit line or in a way where they’re not blocking the crosswalk if there is no limit line. There are exceptions for right-on-red and left-on-red situations. But legally, if you’re in a car you can’t just go through the red light because you’re annoyed that the signal won’t change.
We state in a car for a second time, because the rules are a little bit different for motorcyclists. In Title 49, Chapter 8 of the Idaho Statutes there’s a section that reads:
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the driver of a motorcycle approaching an intersection that is controlled by a triggered traffic-control signal using a vehicle detection device that is inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle, shall come to a full and complete stop at the intersection. If the signal fails to operate after one cycle of the traffic signal, the driver may proceed after exercising due caution and care.
However, if a police officer decides to cite the motorcycle driver for violating the rule, the motorcyclist can’t say “I thought the intersection had a device that didn’t work for my motorcycle” as an excuse to get out of the ticket.
Tickets for running a red light are $90.
Other Boise and Idaho Traffic Laws You Might Not Be Aware Of
Over the last few months, we’ve dug into some other traffic questions you told us you had. Click through to learn more and keep your money in your wallet!
- How Fast Can You Legally Drive in Idaho if There’s No Speed Limit Posted?
- Can You Legally Go 10 MPG Over the Speed Limit in Idaho?
- There Is Only One Reason You Can Legally Honk Your Horn in Idaho
- When Is It Legal to Pass on the Right in Idaho?
- Did You Know Idaho Law Makes Parking Like This In Your Driveway Illegal?
- Yes, Boise Drivers - You Can Turn Left on Red