Idaho defines distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention away from focusing on driving. This includes electronic distractions as well as interacting with passengers. The Idaho Transportation Department has placed these distractions into three categories:

  • Visual
  • Manual
  • Cognitive

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported in 2006 that almost 80 percent of all crashes had some type of driver inattention within three seconds before the crash happened. According to this study, the primary cause of distraction was using a cell phone, reaching for something, or drowsiness.

The State of Idaho does not have a ban on talking on cell phones while driving, so you are free to use either handheld or hands free devices. However, texting while driving is banned no matter what age you are.

There is one city in Idaho that does ban on handheld cell phones, which is the city of Sandpoint. If you are caught using a cell phone within city limits, the fine is $10. However, you cannot be pulled over for just using your cell phone, you have to commit another traffic violation first. For example, if you are talking on your cell phone, are not paying attention, and you run a stop sign, a police officer can pull you over. If they see you were/are talking on your phone, they can fine you $10.

Laws

  • May use cell phones to make phone calls, no age restrictions
  • No texting while driving for all ages

Fines

  • Start at $85 for texting while driving

Idaho does not have many laws and restrictions when it comes to using a handheld device in your vehicle. Texting and driving is still prohibited for people of all ages driving all types of vehicles, so that is something to keep in mind if you live in or plan on driving in Idaho. Even with this law, it is a good safety habit to pull over to the side of the road if you need to make or answer a phone call because it can distract you from what is going on around you. It is important to not only pay attention to the road, but to how other vehicles are acting around you.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Idaho and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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