Is it me? Is it the Texas license plates? Do people in Boise or in Idaho have an extra sense that science hasn’t discovered yet? These are some of the questions I have found myself asking each time I hop on 84 to head to work. As someone who was born and raised in Texas for thirty-four years, I’ll be the first to admit us Texans are NOT the best drivers. Like at all. You think we would be pretty adept since everything is much more of a drive compared to the Treasure Valley.

I recently accepted a position here with Townsquare Media and part of that process was to come up and check out where I would be placing my family and I’s roots. Right off the bat, I was given advice from a local: “Get Idaho license plates.”

Why? Because according to this local, Idahoans treat outsiders differently on the roads.

And look, I get it. I’ve heard the jokes regarding outsiders. You know what I’m talking about; whether it’s “Boise is closed” or “Boise is full”, locals have every reason to want to keep outsiders out. This place is absolutely beautiful, the area is booming, and it’s near and dear to the hearts of those who were here FIRST. I respect that and for lack of a better phrase, “I come in peace.”

I come from a state that has continuously joked about becoming its own country, so having pride in one’s home state is something I appreciate and understand very much. Now maybe it’s because everything feels a bit more spread out in Texas, but I never felt like people migrating to Texas ever impacted our traffic to the point of wanting to treat someone with a California license plate differently.

This begs the question: do Idahoan drivers DESPISE outsiders on the road? Before I get sent back to Texas, I need to reiterate that the treatment I get on the road is in no way a reflection of the incredible people here. I’m new to the area and every single face-to-face interaction I’ve had with locals has been AMAZING. People here love to help and have I mentioned how much PRIDE Boiseans have for their state? In the few commutes, I have had, it’s been an adventure every time.

My first morning on the way to work, I was heading towards downtown Boise passing the Franklin exit when another driver slammed their horn at me as they tried to pass me. Me being me, I immediately wondered if I was maybe inching too close to their lane… maybe I am in their way? Nope. I couldn’t see very well because it was still too dark, but I’m pretty sure the driver didn’t pull up next to me to wave their hand (or something else) at me to welcome me to the Treasure Valley. Surely there’s no way a LICENSE PLATE would be what conjures enough rage in someone to give another person the one-finger salute… right?

I’ll admit it, Idaho license plates are much more visibly appealing than my basic black and white license plate so I imagine “outsiders” are easy to spot. But would getting a new plate IMMEDIATELY change the way I am being treated on the road? Maybe. Maybe not.

The solution is clear: Get Idaho license plates.

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