Idaho traffic deaths surpass previous year’s total

Highway 44

BOISE- So far this year, more people have been killed in crashes on Idaho roads than in all of 2022. According to data from the Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS), 222* people have died in crashes on our roads so far in 2023, surpassing the 215 people killed last year.

“We often think about crashes as isolated incidents, but it adds up to a real crisis on our roads,” said Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton. “The safest thing we can do for ourselves and our communities is to drive engaged. That means seatbelt on, free from distractions, and actively scanning the road ahead.”

Seat belts save lives. Seventy-four* of the people killed in crashes this year were not wearing seat belts. In a crash, seat belts increase your odds of survival by nearly 50 percent.

The most frequent type of fatal crash in Idaho is when a single vehicle leaves the roadway and crashes. Drivers involved in these crashes are often speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and/or driving impaired. So far this year, 67* people were killed in single motor vehicle crashes, and 18* were killed in single motorcycle crashes.

“We see this deadly pattern of speed, impairment, and no seatbelt over and over again,” explained OHS Impaired Driving Program Specialist Lisa Losness. “That’s why it’s so important to plan a sober ride home for yourself and call a ride for your friends if they try to drive after drinking.”

Of the deaths on Idaho roads this year*:

  • 152 were in motor vehicles
  • 37 were on motorcycles
  • 25 were pedestrians
  • Four were on bicycles
  • Four were on some other type of vehicle (ATV, UTV, etc.)

The most common contributing factors in this year’s fatal crashes were (in no ranked order):

  • Fail to maintain lane
  • Speeding
  • Alcohol/Drug impairment
  • Fail to yield
  • Inattention
  • Distracted
  • Drove left of the center line
  • Fail to obey a stop sign or signal
  • Overcorrecting
  • Improper overtaking

*All 2023 data is preliminary and subject to change.

ITD avalanche team back in Lowman as they prepare for El Niño season and new challenges

SH-21 Avalanche area southern gate

The Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) avalanche team is back in Lowman as they prepare for another season and new challenges. Every winter the team monitors conditions to close roads when necessary for the safety of travelers and maintenance crews.

The four-person team has more than 70 years of combined experience. The team is stationed in Lowman, 20 miles from an avalanche-prone section of State Highway 21 that spans eleven miles from Grandjean to Banner Summit. The team also closely monitors U.S. Highway 12 near the Montana border.

According to avalanche team leader, Bill Nicholson, there are more avalanche paths now than when he started over a decade ago. A wildfire burn scar has changed the landscape.

“When I first got here there were 62 avalanche paths, but on one side of the canyon there was a forest fire. All the trees are now gone. There are not any anchors in there anymore. This area that was not even considered a problem has now become one of our biggest problems. We have around 70 avalanche paths now,” Nicholson said.

SH-21 avalanche-prone sectionAnother difference this winter brings is El Niño. The National Weather Service predicts a milder winter, but Nicholson says less snowpack can sometimes make it even more difficult. He says nothing is the same year to year, so they will use their experience and tools to examine the snowpack like they would any other year. The team relies on specialized weather reports from the National Weather Service, as well as mini weather stations that have been placed in risky areas.

There are only three highways in the United States that fall under the ‘High’ category in the Avalanche Hazard Index: SH-21 in Lowman, State Highway 210 in Utah, and U.S. Highway 550 in Colorado.

District 1 partners with ISP to host free Winter Driving Safety Courses

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and the Idaho State Police (ISP) are teaming up in District 1 to provide free, informative and engaging winter driving safety classes in November as the region prepares for icy roads and adverse weather.  

While these courses are beneficial for drivers of all ages and skill levels, they are especially geared towards young drivers and anyone new to the area who may be preparing for their first winter driving season.  

Courses will be taught by ISP Troopers and ITD Operators, covering a wide range of topics from proper vehicle preparation, equipment, road conditions, crashes and snowplow safety. Participants who attend the course will receive a certificate of completion and be eligible for a 10% discount on a set of new snow tires at eight regional Les Schwab Tires locations. 


11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

Coeur d’Alene Public Library-Community Room 

702 E. Front Ave. 

Coeur d’Alene, ID 



10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

North Summit Church 

201 N. Division Ave. 

Sandpoint, ID 


Seating is limited and classes are filling up quickly! Attendees for either class must register online (click here) to reserve a seat. Additional courses may be scheduled at a later date.  


ITD and Boise Hawks join forces for Baseball-O-Ween

Hawks Baseball-O-Ween Event

The Boise Hawks, along with the Idaho Transportation Department and Cumulus Radio, have announced the return of Baseball-o-ween at Memorial Stadium for Friday, October 27 – starting at 6 PM and ending with a fireworks show at 7:50 PM.

“We are very excited to partner with the Idaho Transportation Department and Cumulus Radio Group to bring back this awesome event to Memorial Stadium. After another record-breaking season at the Hawks, we think Baseball-o-ween is the perfect fun and safe event to cap off the 2023 season. We’ve picked the best two partners for this event, and cannot wait to invite everyone out.” – Mike Van Hise, Boise Hawks Vice President

“We are excited for a night of fun and fireworks at Hawks Stadium, and for the opportunity to engage with families and the community about safe driving and keeping trick-or-treaters safe ahead of Halloween.”  Josephine Middleton, Highway Safety Manager with ITD

“We greatly appreciate our promotional partnership with the Boise Hawks and we are excited to partner with the Idaho Transportation Department to present a great safe community event like Baseball-o-ween” – Don Morin, Market Manager for Cumulus Radio, LLC

This free, open-to-the-public, event will begin at 6:00 PM with a “Trunk or Treat” in the Memorial Stadium parking lot, featuring multiple community partners. Fans can then enter Memorial Stadium for a limited concession menu before the fireworks show begins at 7:50 PM. All are encouraged to come dressed in their best costumes as Hawks staff will be on site handing out prizes.

More info:

Slow Down, Move Over, Save a Life: AAA, ISP, ITD spotlight “Move Over” law

BOISE- Governor Brad Little has officially proclaimed October 21 to be Idaho Move Over Law Day. AAA, the Idaho State Police, and the Idaho Transportation Department are reminding drivers who approach a stationary tow truck or emergency vehicle to slow down below the speed limit and, if possible, move over one lane to protect workers at the roadside.

All 50 states have Move Over laws, but driver awareness is inconsistent.  According to previous research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 23% of drivers are not aware of the Move Over law in their state, while 30% did not completely understand the law.  Of those who are aware, 91% are very comfortable complying with the law.  Unfortunately, among those who do not comply with Move Over laws, nearly half felt that their behavior posed little or no danger to workers.

The Foundation also surveyed tow technicians, emergency responders, and road maintenance workers on their experiences with roadside jobs.  Of those surveyed, 60% had experienced a near miss from a passing vehicle, while a shocking 15% had survived being hit while working at the roadside.

Traffic safety partners across the Gem State are working to underscore the importance of this law.

Col. Kedrick Wills, Director of the Idaho State Police said, “The Move Over law protects those who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting our communities.  It isn’t just the law; it’s a moral duty.  When you see flashing lights on the side of the road, consider the lives behind them because it’s not just a vehicle; it’s someone who’s risking everything to keep us safe and get home to their family.  Slowing down and moving over is a simple act that can make all the difference in ensuring the safety of our first responders and highway workers.  Let’s do our part to keep them safe on our roads.”

ITD Chief Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer Dan McElhinney said, “ITD employees and our contractor teams are often on the highway in construction or maintenance work zones, or for crash incident response to help drivers.  Let’s all be there for them by slowing down and moving over when you see flashing lights on the shoulder ahead.  A few seconds of courtesy saves lives and helps everyone get home safely.”

“According to some studies, working in the towing industry is up to 15 times more dangerous than all other private industries combined.  Sadly, on average, a tow truck driver is killed at the roadside every other week,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “Tow truck operators and emergency personnel work hard to protect others.  We should return the favor.”

AAA’s Move Over for Me campaign calls attention to the devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities whenever an emergency responder is injured or killed at the roadside.  Drivers are encouraged to remain alert, avoid distractions, and watch out for emergency vehicles on the side of the road.  If you see one, please slow down and move over to give emergency responders more room to safely do their job.

In part, Governor Little’s proclamation reads, “Public awareness of Idaho’s ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ law is key to its successful implementation…all Idahoans share an appreciation for the dedicated service of emergency workers and are committed to their safety.”

ITD reaches out to Swifties with safe driving PSA

an arm with friendship bracelets

BOISE- It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week! The week serves as an opportunity for parents and teens to talk about safe driving habits. This year during Teen Driver Safety Week and beyond the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is bringing a safe driving message to one of the most powerful young demographics- Swifties.

Idaho moviegoers to Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour will have the chance to catch a new T-Swift-themed public service announcement (PSA) before the show and matching signs in theater lobbies. The PSA features friendship bracelets that have become iconic among Swift fans and concertgoers. The bracelets say “Drive safe. Be here for all your eras.”

Watch the PSA.

“Teens are 2.5 times more likely to crash than any other age group, so it’s really important to find creative ways to reach them,” said Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton. “We can also help teens become better drivers by modeling engaged driving behavior all the time. That means seat belt on, phone down, and driving the speed limit.”

Here are some things to keep in mind for teen drivers and parents alike:

  • Developing brains: Teens’ brains are still growing, which means they have a harder time assessing risk than adults. In Idaho, some of the top contributing crash factors for teens are speeding, following too close, inattention, distracted driving and impaired driving.
  • Developing skills: Learning to drive doesn’t end when you pass your driver’s test. It is a set of skills that will continue to grow your whole life. Failing to yield or obey stop signs, improper lane change, improper turns and improper backing are just some of the skill issues involved in teen crashes in Idaho.

More resources to help talk to teens about safe driving, including a safety pledge, are available at

Free car seat check events across Idaho for Child Passenger Safety Week

A nurse talks with a mother about child passenger safety while a young child sits in a car seat.

BOISE–A car seat is the most important seat a child will ever sit in. National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 17- 23) is right around the corner and a great time to make sure your child’s car seat fits. The Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has partnered with organizations around the state for Child Passenger Safety Week and National Seat Check Saturday on Saturday, September 23, 2023.

Last year in Idaho there were 1,943 crashes involving a child passenger between 0-6 years old. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the United States.

“We all want to protect our kids as best we can, but car seats can be complicated even for experienced parents or caregivers,” said Carma McKinnon, State Child Passenger Safety Coordinator. “Seat Check Saturday is an opportunity to get free help from an expert, to ensure our little ones are as safe as possible.”

At these seat check events, certified child passenger safety technicians will check if a car seat is the right type for a child’s age and size, check that it fits correctly, and that it is properly installed in the vehicle.

Across Idaho, there are many free seat check events coming up on Seat Check Saturday and beyond:

Host Location Address City Date Time
St. Luke’s Pediatric Edu & Injury Prevention Program


Tomlinson South Meridian YMCA 5155 S Hillsdale Ave. Meridian 9/23/2023 10 am – 2 pm
Caldwell PD and Saint Alphonsus


Treasure Valley Community College 205 S. 6th Ave. Caldwell 9/23/2023 9 am – 1 pm
Thrive Pediatrics


Thrive Pediatrics 4470 N. Penngrove Way, Ste. 210 Meridian 9/30/2023 9 am – 1 pm


Hospital – Nell Redfield 150 200 W Malad City 9/22/2023 10 am – 2 pm
Soda springs


Caribou County Sheriff’s Office 475 E 2nd S Soda Springs 9/16/2023 10 am – 3 pm
Blackfoot PD


Blackfoot Police Station 501 N Maple St. Blackfoot 9/21/2023 2 – 5 pm
Pocatello PD


Pocatello Police Station 911 N 7th Ave Pocatello 9/23/2023 10 am – 2 pm
Rexburg Police Department


Madison Memorial Porter Park Rexburg 9/16/2023 10 am – 3 pm
Grease Monkey, Little Defenders and Idaho State Police, Idaho Community Hosp.


Grease Monkey 2100 Channing Way Idaho Falls 9/23/2023 11 am-2 pm
Teton Valley


Broulims Parking Lot 240 S Main St. Driggs 10/7/2023 11 am-1 pm
Steele Memorial


Steel Memorial 203 Daisy St Salmon 9/23/2023 10 am – 1 pm
Nampa PD


Nampa PD 820 2nd St S Nampa 9/21/2023 1 pm – 3 pm
Lapwai Health, Safe Start, Buckle Up for Life, Smith-Barbieri, Steele-Reese Found, Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation


Pi-Nee-Waus Community Center 504 N. Main St Lapwai 9/23/2023 10 am-1 pm
REO Safety Event St. Mary’s Health 701 Lewiston St. Cottonwood 9/18/2023 Book Your Class with Safe Start (
REO Safety Event Riverside Housing Playground Appaloosa Drive Kamiah 9/19/2023 Book Your Class with Safe Start (
REO Safety Event Orofino City Park 155 Wisconsin St. Orofino 9/22/2023 Book Your Class with Safe Start (
REO Safety Event Cup of Grace 31848 N 4th Ave Spirit Lake 9/26/2023 Book Your Class with Safe Start (
REO Safety Event The Library 601 N. Main St. Clarkfork 9/27/2023 Book Your Class with Safe Start (
REO Safety Event South Boundary Fire District 20 Stagecoach Rd. Naples 10/7/2023 Book Your Class with Safe Start (

For more information about child passenger safety and a map of year-round seat check locations visit

100 Deadliest Days on Idaho roads claim 92 lives

BOISE—At least 92* people were killed in crashes during the 100 Deadliest Days on Idaho roads, according to preliminary data from the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Highway Safety (OHS). Vehicle crashes caused the majority of fatalities, followed by motorcycle crashes, and crashes involving pedestrians.

The 100 Deadliest Days are the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when Idaho sees a spike in fatal and serious injury crashes. During this time more people are out of school or work, on vacations, and celebrating. This increase in traffic can lead to more distracted, aggressive, and impaired driving, making the roads more dangerous.

“Thinking about the gravity of the loss is heartbreaking. Ninety-two people are gone too soon, and families and communities across Idaho are mourning their loved ones,” Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton said. “It’s a solemn reminder of the importance of buckling up, putting down the distractions, and driving sober.”

OHS has compiled a preliminary list* of contributing factors to these fatalities. Please note that the numbers in this list add up to more than 92 because most crashes have more than one contributing factor. For example, a fatal crash could involve both impaired driving and no seat belt or inattention, speeding, and failing to yield, etc.

  • No seat belt – 34
  • Fail to maintain lane – 20
  • Speed – 11
  • Alcohol-impaired – 10
  • Fail to yield – 10
  • Inattention – 9
  • Overcorrected – 5
  • Drove left of center line – 5
  • Improper overtaking – 4
  • Wrong side or wrong way – 4
  • Drug-impaired – 3
  • Asleep, drowsy, or fatigued – 2
  • Fail to obey a stop sign – 2
  • Distracted in or on the vehicle (GPS, cell phone, etc.) – 2
  • Improper lane change – 2
  • Tire Defect – 1

Overall, 2023 has been deadlier than 2022. So far this year 168* people have died on Idaho roads, compared to 137 at this time last year. Ninety-two people died during the 100 Deadliest Days this year, compared to 81 last year.

Here is a preliminary breakdown* of fatalities during the 100 Deadliest Days by county:

8 Fatalities

  • Ada
  • Bonneville
  • Idaho
  • Kootenai

7 Fatalities

  • Jerome

6 Fatalities

  • Canyon

4 Fatalities

  • Bannock
  • Bonner
  • Clearwater
  • Teton
  • Twin Falls

3 Fatalities

  • Payette
  • Valley

2 Fatalities

  • Boise
  • Cassia
  • Jefferson
  • Minidoka
  • Nez Perce

1 Fatality

  • Bear Lake
  • Benewah
  • Bingham
  • Blaine
  • Boundary
  • Elmore
  • Franklin
  • Latah
  • Lemhi
  • Lincoln
  • Owyhee

No Fatalities

  • Adams
  • Butte
  • Camas
  • Caribou
  • Clark
  • Custer
  • Fremont
  • Gem
  • Gooding
  • Lewis
  • Madison
  • Oneida
  • Power
  • Shoshone
  • Washington

*All 2023 data is preliminary

Idaho urges sober rides for safe Labor Day as ‘100 Deadliest Days’ conclude

BOISE—As Idaho approaches the end of the 100 Deadliest Days, drivers should remember to include a sober ride home in their Labor Day plans. The Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has partnered with Idaho State Police (ISP) and more than 50 other law enforcement agencies for enhanced DUI patrols this coming holiday weekend. Expect to see more officers on the roads to stop impaired drivers before they cause harm. 

“As law enforcement professionals, we are dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of our communities. The act of impaired driving not only defies the principles we uphold but also endangers the lives we’ve sworn to protect,” said Colonel Kedrick Wills of the Idaho State Police. “This Labor Day weekend, let us all unite in our commitment to safety by making responsible choices. Through intensified patrol and advanced expertise, we are committed to creating an environment free from the dangers of impaired driving.”  

According to data gathered by OHS, 110 people were killed as a result of impaired driving crashes last year. That represents more than half of all fatalities in 2022.  

Labor Day marks the end of the 100 Deadliest Days, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when Idaho sees a spike in fatal and serious injury crashes. This year to date 164 people have been killed in crashes on Idaho roads, 89 of those fatalities happened during the 100 Deadliest Days.  

Sadly 2023 has been deadlier than 2022 so far. This time last year there were 133 fatalities on Idaho roads, versus 164 this year.  

“It’s a stark reminder of the dangers of impaired driving, aggressive driving, and distracted driving,” explained Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton. “We can help to keep ourselves and others safe by driving engaged, putting down the distractions, driving sober, and always wearing our seatbelts.” 

Paving begins next week for the US-95 McArthur Lake project

paving underway at US-95 McArthur Lake


Starting Monday morning, August 28th, the Idaho Transportation Department will begin paving a temporary adjacent road, also known as a shoo-fly, as part of ongoing construction for the US95 McArthur Lake project. Paving is expected to last two days, during which time the highway will be reduced to 1 lane in alternating shifts to allow crews to work. Flaggers may also be utilized to assist with traffic flow. Drivers should expect delays throughout daytime commuting hours.

It is anticipated that traffic will shift over to this new section of paved roadway in mid-September to accommodate final construction on the future bridge. The projected final completion date for this project is Fall of 2024.

Motorists should exercise caution while traveling through work zones. Those wishing to receive email updates about the US-95 McArthur lake project can sign up here. Drivers can also check or download the Idaho 511 app for the latest traffic conditions on all state roadways.