[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Passing laws: Idaho has no specific laws pertaining to passing bicycles. As such, general traffic laws shall apply requiring motorists to only pass a bicycle when it is safe to do so.
Helmet law: There is no law requiring a driver or passenger of a bicycle to wear a helmet.
Laws to Protect the Bicyclist: There are certain laws entitled “vulnerable user laws.” These laws in essence require the vehicle least at risk to yield to the vehicle most at risk. Idaho currently has not enacted any distracted driving laws. However, drivers of a motor vehicle are required to exercise due care and caution and avoid colliding with pedestrians and bicycles. In addition, the operator of a motor vehicle must take proper precaution around a child or confused, intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated individual.
Distracted Driving: It is unlawful to text in Idaho while operating a motor vehicle. However, you may use a hands-free device to text (voice recognition) or for the use of the telephone.
Lane Position Laws for a Bicyclist: Generally speaking Idaho law requires the bicyclist to be as close to the right hand edge of the road as possible. However there are some important exceptions that I will outline below:
- When preparing to take a left turn at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway;
- When overtaking or passing another bicycle or vehicle;
- When necessary to avoid unsafe conditions or if the lane is too narrow; and
- When on a one-way street, bicycle may ride on the left side of the road as close as possible to the left edge.
Sidewalk Riding: Subject to the following restrictions, Idaho allows bicycles to ride on the sidewalk:
- A cyclist must yield right of way to any pedestrian and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian or other cyclist;
- A person shall not operate the bicycle on a sidewalk if it is prohibited by an official traffic control device.
Mandatory Use of Separate Lanes: Idaho does not require that a bicyclist use any lane or path other than a normal lane for vehicles. In other words, if there is a sidewalk, a bicyclist has the option of where to ride.
Riding a Bike under the Influence: In Idaho, it is unlawful for a cyclist to operate a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or combination thereof. Any violations are likely to result in severe punishments.
Stop Sign Laws: In Idaho the laws pertaining to stop signs and red lights for bicycles have been modified as follows:
- A bicyclist approaching a stop sign must slow down and only stop if required for safety;
- After stopping or slowing down must yield to any other vehicle;
- After slowing down and yielding to any traffic, may cautiously proceed straight or turn without ever coming to a full stop;
- A bicyclist approaching a steady red light must come to a full stop before proceeding after yielding to any traffic;
- If the cyclist approaches a red light and is turning right, he/she may slow to a reasonable speed and the proceed without ever stopping;
- A left hand turn on a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding, stopping first is required here in all circumstances.
Important Resources and Links
Good summary of Bicycle Laws, with title of statute, click here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]