Safety Laws in Idaho
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Aside from those sources, you can find explanations about some of the motor vehicle and safety laws asked about most often below.
Per Idaho Statute 49-673, you must wear a seat belt whenever a vehicle is in motion unless:
- You have a disability or other medical condition that prevents you from safely wearing a seat belt―and written certification from your doctor.
- You're the occupant of a motorcycle, mail delivery vehicle, husbandry vehicle, or emergency vehicle.
- All seat belts in the vehicle are already in use.
Not wearing your seat belt, or allowing a person under the age of 18 to go without a seat belt in your vehicle, can get you a fine of $10.
If you have a child in your moving vehicle who is six years old or younger, you must secure him or her in a child safety restraint that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213 Child Restraint Systems, according to Idaho Statute 49-672.
- When all of the vehicle's seat belts are in use and the child is safely situated in the back seat (due to the vehicle's seat belts being in use).
- When an attendant is holding the child in order to nurse or tend to the child.
If you're in the market for one, you can shop online for a child car seat any time of day. When ordering, make sure the car seat matches your child's weight, height and age.
To date, Idaho does not ban the use of cell phones while driving; however, as the Idaho Driver's Manual points out, using a cell phone while driving is dangerous and it's best to pull over and stop the car before making or taking a call, or sending or receiving a text message.
Idaho smiles on bicycle riders, and even though the law doesn't require them to wear helmets, wearing one is strongly encouraged.
The Idaho Bicycle Commuter Guide dedicates a special section to the importance of wearing helmets, what to look for when buying a helmet, and replacing a helmet that's been involved in a crash. Refer also to the Idaho Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, especially for additional bicycle-related laws.
According to Idaho Statute 49-666, all motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet when they're not riding on private property.
Check out our special report How To Buy the Right Helmet for information about purchasing approved helmets.
Idaho Statute 49-905 tells us that all motor vehicles must have two headlights, or "head lamps," on each side of the front of the vehicle, and all motorcycles must have at least one headlight.
According to Idaho Statute 49-903, drivers must use those headlights from sunset to sunrise, and when conditions are such that there isn't enough light for drivers to clearly make out other drivers and vehicles within 500 feet.
For more information about headlights, tail lamps, and other such equipment refer to Chapter 9: Vehicle Equipment.
Idaho Statute 49-602 prohibits drivers from leaving their cars unattended while still running. Drivers must turn their engines off, lock the ignitions, and remove the keys of all vehicles they leave unattended.
Leaving a child or pet unattended in a vehicle is dangerous. Not only does it leave them vulnerable to strangers and vehicle malfunctions, but it also leaves them vulnerable to the elements.
The Idaho Transportation Department links to various informative articles dealing with the dangers of unattended children and pets in vehicles―especially during hot weather:
Both reckless driving and drunk driving are causes for license suspension in Idaho.
If you feel a family member, friend, loved one, neighbor, or mere acquaintance is driving in a manner that puts your safety at risk, it's best to contact the Idaho Transportation Department, your local detachment of the Idaho State Police, or another law enforcement branch.
Other Topics in This Section
- Traffic Alerts
- 511 Traffic Systems
- Tire Recalls
- Safety Laws
- How Emotions Affect Driving
- Driving in Hazardous Conditions
- Teen Drivers: A Beginner's Guide
- Seniors: When To Turn Over The Car Keys
- Packing Your First-Aid Kit
- Seven Senior Safety Suggestions
- Wildlife on the Road
- When to Call Wildlife Rescue
- Taking A Mature Driver Course
- Medications & Driving
- Night Driving
- Hallucinations on the Road
- How To Drive Distraction Free
- Treating Motion Sickness
- Road Rage: How To Deal With It
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- Safety Laws On Children, Pets, and Vehicles
- Bicycle Safety Laws: Learn Your State’s Helmet Laws, Traffic Laws, and More
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