ITD making changes to ensure detour routes for the Teton Pass stay open

Cars traveling along Idaho State Highway 31, part of the detour route while Wyoming Highway 22 over Teton Pass is closed.

Idaho Transportation Department maintenance workers from St. Anthony, Driggs, and Ashton have switched schedules to provide around-the-clock coverage for detours established after the closure of Wyoming State Highway 22 over Teton Pass on June 8.

Drivers are being routed to Idaho State Highway 31 over Pine Creek Pass to Swan Valley, U.S. Highway 26 to Alpine, and US-89 toward Hoback Junction. Crews start the day at 3 a.m. ahead of most commuter traffic. Already these efforts have taken care of roadkill, found and moved an overturned car, and alerted farmers of escaped livestock on the road.

“We’re trying to keep the road and the public safe as best we can with increased traffic,” Operations Foreman Lucas Richins said. “We need people to be on their toes, watching for all the signs, driving patiently and planning extra time to travel due to the congestion.”

Digital message boards are in place at all intersections and areas needed in advance of the detour route. All drivers should be on the lookout for these digital signs that will be updated frequently.

In addition, ITD is staying in coordination with Idaho State Police to help minimize response times to accidents. Drivers should be aware that speed trailers and increased ISP patrols will be in effect.

Guardrail repair and fiber installation efforts along SH-31 have been completed or paused to eliminate any traffic delays.

“We’re doing everything we can to try and make this situation as good as it can be,” said Bryan Young, the acting District Engineer.

Stay up to date on status of the Teton Pass detour routes by visiting, calling 5-1-1 or downloading the app. Travelers can also refer to the Wyoming Department of Transportation Media Kit for daily updates.

North Idaho receives funding to combat multi-substance impaired driving

Many officers and a police 59 stand for a group photo.

North Idaho’s DUI Task Force has received a $28,750 grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving (NASID), and to stop multi-substance impaired drivers. This funding will train more drug recognition experts (DREs) and law-enforcement phlebotomists, giving officers better tools to detect and remove impaired drivers from our roads.

The North Idaho DUI Task Force is a coalition of 15 regional law enforcement agencies representing jurisdictions in all five northern counties of the panhandle. They work together and with partners like the Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS) to stop impaired drivers in the region.

In 2023 the task force worked 12 joint operations during suspected DUI peak events and hours like evenings and weekends. Those enforcement operations coincided with community outreach aimed at educating drivers about the dangers of impaired driving before they get behind the wheel. For example, during the targeted enforcement on New Year’s Eve 2023, the task force made 30 DUI arrests, responded to one DUI crash and there were no DUI-related fatalities, showing that their efforts are saving lives.

Sergeant Troy Tulleners from Idaho State Police (ISP) District One highlighted the importance of collaboration in enhancing public safety. “The Idaho State Police is proud to work with local law enforcement and the Office of Highway Safety. By pooling resources and expertise, we ensure a comprehensive approach to traffic safety.”

The new grant will improve the capacity of local law enforcement to address multi-substance impaired driving. More trained DREs and law-enforcement phlebotomists will lead to safer roads and fewer collisions, protecting lives in North Idaho.

“Our law enforcement partners in Idaho and across the country are doing everything they can to address impaired driving and make our roads safer, but they face an incredible challenge and need our support,” said GHSA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adkins. “GHSA’s decade-long partnership with and NASID helps provide law enforcement with the resources they need to identify impaired drivers, making our roads safer for everyone.

Sergeant Tulleners emphasized the success of partnerships in reducing collisions and improving road safety. “Together, we have made significant strides in making our roads safer. This grant funding will bolster the Task Force members’ efforts during peak enforcement times in hopes of lowering the respective fatalities. Furthermore, it will be utilized to bolster the capabilities and training of officers, on or off the task force, in recognizing and stopping impaired drivers every shift.“

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About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management, and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Visit for more information or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

About is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empower adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi USA, Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Campari Group; Constellation Brands; DIAGEO; Edrington, Hotaling & Co.; Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; Ole Smoky, LLC; Pernod Ricard USA; and William Grant & Sons. For more than 30 years, has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit


The National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving is a coalition established and led by to eliminate all forms of impaired driving, especially multiple substance impaired driving, through effective and proven measures such as DUI system reform, DUI detection, and improved use of data and technology. To learn more visit

Drive safe, the 100 Deadliest Days are upon us

Memorial Day weekend is shaping up to be a busy travel time in the Gem State. Idaho is about to enter the 100 Deadliest Days on Idaho roads- the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when there is a spike in fatal and serious injury crashes. Seventy* people have been killed in crashes on Idaho roads so far this year-  including the recent crash on US 20 in Bonneville County that tragically killed six people in one vehicle. The Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is imploring drivers to be vigilant and drive engaged this Memorial Day weekend and all summer.

“We call this period the 100 Deadliest Days, but it would be great to be proven wrong. Make it safer out there for yourself and others by slowing down, putting down distractions, buckling up, and planning a sober ride home,” said OHS program manager Josephine Middleton.

While it would seem like winter is the most dangerous time to drive, driving is more dangerous in summer. This seems paradoxical. Why would roads be more dangerous in summer when weather conditions are better? During the summer more people are out of school or work, on vacation, and celebrating leading to higher rates of risky behavior behind the wheel like impaired driving, distracted driving, and speeding.

A graph of fatal crashes by month. The graph shows a spike in crashes in June, July and August.
Graph: Fatal crashes by month 2018-2022.

This summer OHS and its partners across the state will work together to remind people to make safer choices whenever they are on the road. Some of these activities will include partnering with law enforcement agencies to get dangerous drivers off the road, public awareness campaigns, and community outreach events.

“We have a lot of wonderful partners who help us make Idaho’s roads a safer place, but we can’t just rely on them,” Middleton said. “We can all do a better job of looking out for each other on our roads and make it safely through this summer.”

2024 Fatality information*:

70 people killed in traffic crashes to date

58 people in vehicles

5 people on motorcycles

4 people on foot

1 person on a bicycle

2 people on ATVs/UTVs/Etc.

2024 Fatalities by county:

District 1

Bonner – 2

Kootenai – 2

Benewah – 1

Boundary & Shoshone – 0

District 2

Nez Perce – 4

Idaho – 2

Latah – 1

Lewis – 1

Clearwater – 0

District 3

Ada – 7

Canyon – 9

Elmore – 1

Valley – 1

Washington – 2

Payette – 2

Owyhee – 1

Adams, Boise & Gem – 0

District 4

Lincoln – 3

Cassia – 7

Jerome – 3

Twin Falls – 1

Blaine – 1

Minidoka – 1

Camas & Gooding – 0

District 5

Franklin – 2

Bingham – 3

Bannock -2

Oneida – 1

Power, Bear Lake & Caribou – 0

District 6

Bonneville – 8

Custer – 1

Madison – 1

Lemhi, Butte, Clark, Jefferson, Fremont, & Teton – 0

*All 2024 data is preliminary and subject to change.

87% of Idahoans wear their seat belt. Let’s make it 100%

A woman buckles her seat belt.

Eighty-seven percent of Idahoans wear their seat belt, according to the Idaho Office of Highway Safety’s (OHS) 2023 observational seatbelt survey. OHS and law enforcement partners across the state are encouraging all Idahoans to buckle up. From May 20 to June 2 expect to see more officers on the roads to educate drivers about the importance of wearing a seat belt.

Seat belts increase a person’s chances of surviving a crash by nearly 50 percent. Last year, 104* of the people killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts – 52 of them could have survived had they all worn their seat belts.

While more crashes happen in urban areas, the fatality rate is higher on rural roads. Seat belt use is also lower in rural areas. To coincide with the statewide seat belt enforcement, OHS is launching a new campaign focused on rural road safety. The campaign includes radio ads featuring rural emergency medical service providers (EMS) from around the state. The launch also coincides with National EMS Week, which is marking it’s 50th anniversary this year.

In the ads, first responders explain what it’s like to respond to crashes in their close-knit communities. “In our rural area we usually know a lot of people, and it makes it really hard to have to pull a friend out of a vehicle,” said Christy, an EMT from Washington County in the ads. “We want to make sure everyone can keep making wonderful memories and arrive at their destination safely.”

EMS and post-crash care are a crucial part of safety on our roads. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in 2021 nearly 9,000 people were ejected or partially ejected from vehicles during crashes. Seat belts play a huge role in preventing ejections and improving outcomes for people injured in crashes.

“EMTs are a crucial part of our communities. Let’s help them help us by wearing a seat belt,” urged Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton.

The goal of this campaign is to remind Idahoans that we need to be proactive about our own safety by simply buckling up.

*Preliminary Data

ITD installing sensors at Idaho Ports of Entry to find damaged tires

A damaged outside tire on a semitruck.

A tire blowout on a semitruck traveling at highway speeds can be dangerous, even deadly. As part of the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) ongoing commitment to safety, the agency will begin installing Tire Anomaly and Classification (TAC) Systems at Ports of Entry (POE) around the state.

Ports of Entry inspect commercial vehicles and oversee their safe operation on Idaho roads. TAC systems are installed in the road and screen semitruck tires for anomalies and damage. Port employees can use the TAC data to notify truck drivers of damaged or underinflated tires before they cause a safety problem.

Idaho’s first TAC system was installed at the Declo POE in February 2023. Over 1,100 tire anomalies have been detected since the system went live.

“Installing TAC systems is a proactive approach to safety,” explained ITD Commercial Vehicle Services Manager Craig Roberts. “The driving public is much safer when commercial vehicles with tire issues are stopped to correct blowouts, flats, or missing tires.”

The TAC installation schedule is as follows:

  • East Boise POE in both directions, week of May 28.
  • Lewiston POE in both directions, week of July 15.
  • Sage POE in both directions, tentatively late July or early August depending on other road construction in the area.
  • Huetter POE in both directions, tentatively August depending on other road construction in the area.
  • Inkom POE will have a phased installation. Southbound is to be completed in June. Northbound is to be completed next year during work on the Inkom interchange.

The cost for all the new TAC systems combined is $1.2 million. In 2022, the economic cost of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles in Idaho was over $627 million.

A damaged inside tire on a semitruck. A damaged inside tire on a semitruck.

Pictured above: Tires caught by the TAC system.

Safe walking, biking, and scootering: Idaho receives youth mobility grant

A boy on a bicycle.

In May, we honor both National Bicycle Safety Month and National Youth Traffic Safety Month. Idaho is among the five states recognized by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) with grants for youth mobility. The Idaho Walk Bike Alliance, in partnership with the Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS), has secured a $25,000 grant from the National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF). This grant will support efforts to educate Idaho’s children on safe walking, biking, and scootering.

The Idaho Walk Bike Alliance is a non-profit dedicated to making walking and biking a healthy, safe, and reliable transportation option for Idahoans. The Alliance will use the grant funding to provide several communities with hands-on lessons about Idaho’s roads. This project aims to fill an educational void for middle and high school students, specifically bridging the gap between K-6 Safe Routes to School programming and driver education and training. Students will learn about active transportation modes such as walking, biking, or scooting, which provide equitable access to school for many in the community.

“There is a crucial gap when kids in middle school are biking and walking and have not yet learned the rules of the road. As students become more independent, being able to get where they are going safely is an essential life skill. Our goal is to educate these students so they can get where they are going, safely, and to become drivers that keep people who are walking and cycling safe,” said Idaho Walk Bike Alliance Education Specialist Margaret Havey.

Nationally and in Idaho, traffic crashes are a leading cause of death for young people. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2021*, nationally nearly 1,200 children (age 14 and younger) died in traffic crashes that year, up 8% from 2020. In Idaho, child traffic fatalities increased from 5 in 2020, to 9 in 2021.

The Walk Bike Alliance is looking for schools, community organizations, or recreation programs that are interested in participating in the program. To get involved please contact Margaret Havey at

*2021 is the most recent year for complete national data from NHTSA


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About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Visit for more information or find us on Facebook and X/Twitter.

About NRSF

The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded more than 60 years ago, produces traffic safety programs on distracted driving, speed and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver proficiency, pedestrian safety and a host of other safety issues. It distributes the programs free of charge to schools, police and traffic safety advocates, community groups and individuals. It also sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting safe driving to their peers and in their communities. For more information or to download free programs, visit



Riders invited to Motorcycle Awareness Rally on May 4

Three people on motorcycles.

It is that time of year again! The time when more motorcyclists are out on Idaho roads. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and to mark the occasion the Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety (ICMS) is hosting a Motorcycle Awareness Rally on May 4.

Motorcycle riders are invited to join ICMS, the Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS), and partners for the event on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Sandy Point in Lucky Peak State Park, 9723 ID-21, Boise, ID 83716. Motorcyclists can meet in the park starting at 10 a.m. An escorted ride from Sandy Point to the Idaho State Capitol starts at 1 p.m. Following the ride, the Christian Motorcycle Association is hosting a barbeque at Ann Morrison Park, 1000 S Americana Blvd, Boise, ID 83706.

“We want to remind the drivers out there that they are sharing the road with motorcyclists, who are more exposed than people in cars. Looking twice for motorcycles can save someone’s life,” explained ICMS rally organizer Lane Triplett.

According to OHS data, in 2022 there were 529 motorcycle-related crashes, and 29 motorcyclists were killed. Most fatalities that year were clustered in the months of June, July, and August. Drivers can help protect motorcyclists by:

  • Checking your blind spots. Motorcycles are small compared to other vehicles, so don’t rely on mirrors alone.
  • Always use your turn signals. Signaling helps motorcyclists anticipate traffic flow.
  • Look twice. Sun and rain glare can make motorcycles hard to see. Snow, rain, and fog can obscure your vision too. Always check twice for bikes.

Motorcyclists can protect themselves in the following ways:

  • Wear brightly colored, reflective clothing.
  • Ride with headlights on.
  • Establish lane positions that increase visibility – don’t ride in blind spots.
  • Enhance your skills. Idaho STAR (Skills Training Advantage for Riders) has classes across the state and for all experience levels.

Public safety partners in North Idaho take a new approach to DUI crash reduction

Presentation for the North Idaho DUI Task Force


North Idaho is a special place – pristine lakes, snowcapped mountains, and lush forests make it a destination for thrill seekers and those who love the outdoors. Fine restaurants, spas, and resorts bring in tourists and celebrities from around the world. Rugged refinement makes Idaho’s Panhandle one of the most unique places to live or visit in the state.

The combination of freedom-loving locals and visitors who come to let their hair down has a definite appeal, but it also has a dark side. In 2017, the biggest city in the region, Coeur d’Alene, was given the designation as the “Drunkest City in Idaho.” All too often, bad decisions in the region’s restaurants, bars, and breweries were turning into bad decisions on its roads.

Over the next two years, two very high-profile tragedies struck the panhandle community. The first came in 2017 when a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Deputy’s son was killed on Interstate 90 after being broadsided by a drunk driver. The second occurred in 2019 when the Allen family was returning home on US-95 when they were struck by a drunk driver. 39-year-old Ryan Allen, who lived a majority of his life confined to a wheelchair after having been paralyzed in a previous DUI crash at the age of 11, was killed. These incidents, coupled with the not-so-glamorous claim of being the booziest community in the state, served as a catalyst for change.

Outraged by the proliferation of overconsumption, flippant disregard for safety and heartbreaking, preventable losses, public safety agencies across northern Idaho banded together to take a collaborative approach to moving the needle on statistics when it came to serious injury and fatality impaired driving crashes in Kootenai County.

Agency leaders from the Idaho State Police, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, and four city police departments responded with the creation of the North Idaho DUI Task Force in 2019. The team’s inaugural enforcement operation kicked off on St. Patrick’s Day weekend and included a public briefing ceremony, local media coverage, and allowed officers the ability to work outside of their primary jurisdictions over the holiday weekend to target saturated enforcement efforts on the highest risk areas like the bar districts in cities across Kootenai County.

Since then, the DUI Task Force has grown to include 15 city, county, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies and has planned and executed similar enforcement operations surrounding major holidays and local events annually over the past five years. In that time, the team also recognized that in order to instigate a cultural shift toward sober driving, they also had to deploy a strategy for targeted education and engagement with the community.

“We realized this wasn’t a problem we were going to arrest our way out of,” said ISP Sergeant Justin Scotch. With that understanding, coupled with a healthy dose of support from the Office of Highway Safety, and armed with Idaho Transportation Department’s District 1 Public Information Officer as a liaison for community outreach, the team has become a buzzworthy presence on social media and at regional community events to engage with the public on the importance of safe decisions and sober driving.

Outreach efforts have built a following of over 4,500 people across all platforms, and in 2024 these outreach efforts consistently reach nearly a quarter million people from around the region.

Recognizing the success of the team’s innovative approach to targeted outreach, OHS has played a key role in supporting ongoing communication efforts by coordinating resources available through grants and partnership with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to fund digital billboards, dynamic messaging signs on highways, electronic jukebox advertisements inside bars, and paid ad campaigns for social media. They also provide grant opportunities to law enforcement agencies that help to supplement overtime costs for additional officers during mobilizations throughout the year targeted not only at impaired driving, but also to enhance enforcement of behaviors like aggressive driving, distracted driving and seat belt use.

When it comes to the metric for measuring the success of this team, it’s difficult to pinpoint based on the theoretical value of the work that they do. No one will ever know who is living among us today because someone made the right choice to not drive impaired. However, when looking at statistics this data would suggest that the ongoing efforts and coordinated outreach by the DUI Task Force has inevitably made a positive impact on the local community and continues to drive behavioral changes.

Since the task force’s inception, District 1 has experienced an overall downward trend in the number of impairment crash deaths, while also experiencing a decrease in the number of DUI arrests being made collectively by police agencies.

Between 2022 and 2023, North Idaho (District 1) experienced an overall 8% increase in the total number of fatality crashes, regardless of the cause. However, during that same timeframe, North Idaho saw a 15% reduction in impairment-related crashes, a 33% reduction in the number of impairment-related fatality crashes, and a 38% reduction in deaths due to impairment related crashes.

While the total number of crashes, fatal crashes, and deaths due to impairment related factors was also on the decline across the state from 2022 to 2023, North Idaho experienced a reduction in those numbers at over twice the rate (based on preliminary data from the Office of Highway Safety).

The growing presence of this team, coupled with its apparent success, has caught the eye of other regional public safety entities, not only within Idaho, but in other states. In February, members of ITD and ISP were invited by the Oregon Transportation Department to join forces and provide training in eastern Oregon for regional police, safety and community partners aimed at aiding them in replicating a model of the DUI Task Force of their own.

In its early days, the Task Force was primarily enforcement-based and arrest-focused, but has since recognized the greater value in proactive education to help shape and shift social norms surrounding impaired driving.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, but being relentless in the use of our collective voice to shift social norms is something that’s entirely possible,” said PIO Heather McDaniel. “If you were to tell someone from 30 years ago that one day the thought of smoking in an airport or a restaurant would be completely taboo, they’d laugh in your face,” she said. “But look at us now! That’s the shift in mindset we are trying to create toward impaired driving.”

The saying goes that it takes a village, and over the years this team has learned time and again that holds true! When it comes to saving lives it’s not just law enforcement who is responsible for affecting change. From transportation, corrections, and judicial agencies to the healthcare community, education system, private enterprise, and even you and me, we all play a role in shaping the safety of our future.

By committing to the principles of partnership and taking a collaborative approach to combating the impaired driving epidemic, we are all one step closer to getting there.

ITD’s new split scales combat uneven tire wear on commercial vehicles

Three side-by-side images of tires on a scale.

Tires wearing out early on commercial vehicles can be dangerous for the driver and other vehicles on the road. Conventional wisdom is to inflate a truck’s inside and outside tires to the same pressure. However, when the tires have equal pressure, it puts more weight on the inside tire leading to uneven wear and issues with braking, fuel mileage, and handling.

The Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) Port of Entry (POE) team has six new split platform portable scales that will be used to demonstrate the weight difference between the inside and outside dual tires. They’ll demonstrate this issue to industry members in ITD’s six districts and to ITD’s teams. This can save companies and the state money on tire replacements, fuel, brakes, and suspension parts. The POE will start reaching out to industry partners in April.

Check out this video for a demonstration of the split scales and the effect of tire pressure on weight distribution.

Slow your roll: Statewide campaign aims to calm speeding and aggressive driving

From speeding, to weaving, to failing to yield there’s more to aggressive driving than just road rage. From March 19-30, the Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is teaming up with law enforcement partners across the state for targeted aggressive driving enforcement. Expect to see more officers on the road to stop aggressive driving behavior.

Preliminary data from OHS shows that in 2023 there were nearly 14,000* aggressive driving crashes in Idaho and 103* people died.

Contributing factors used by OHS to identify aggressive driving include speeding, driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, failing to yield, and failing to obey a stop sign or signal.

“Aggressive driving is a choice, which means it’s within our power to change,” explained Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton. “Choosing to drive engaged and safely may save your life or someone else’s.”

It is incredibly important for parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of aggressive driving because teens are overrepresented in aggressive driving crashes. OHS found that in 2022, drivers ages 19 and younger were four times as likely to be involved in aggressive driving crashes as all other drivers. Drivers under the age of 25 represent more than one-third (35%) of the drivers involved in aggressive driving crashes that year.

While the term aggressive driving leads many people to think of road rage, many behaviors are considered aggressive driving. Road rage is a violent criminal act that falls on the extreme end of aggressive driving.

If you encounter an aggressive or violent driver do not engage. Safely get out of their way as soon as possible. If you can get a vehicle description, license number, and location report the information to law enforcement.


*Preliminary data subject to change