Is it always illegal to change lanes in the middle of Boise intersections? There seems to be a whole lot of confusion on the subject.

Passing Idaho's Driving Exam

It's been a decade or more since most of our team sat for the Idaho State Driver's License Exam. Apart from the aggravation of studying for it and passing with flying colors, there's little we remember about the exam itself.

We're the first to admit that we don't remember every iota of Idaho's many (and quirky) road rules. We do, however, have two+ decades of experience behind the wheel to rely on. Before we looked it up, we were pretty darn sure it was 100% illegal to change lanes in Boise intersections.

With some drivers pulling up on yellow, a number of them trying to make left turns, and others trying to make, or worse, run the light altogether, intersections get busy. Naturally, we just assumed it was illegal to change lanes in intersections. Right? Wrong! That may be the case in several other states, but not in Idaho.

Knowing When to Change/Stay in Your Lane

As it turns out, changing lanes in the middle of a Boise intersection is perfectly legal...but not always. According to one law group, "there isn't a specific statute on point in Idaho, [but] people [can] still get tickets from their behavior in intersections." Idaho Statutes 49-637 and 49-615 state the following:

A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety. -49-637


Drivers to exercise due care. Notwithstanding other provisions of this title or the provisions of any local ordinance, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary. -49-615

Here's Why You Probably Got That Ticket

If a Boise-area driver is ticketed for changing lanes in the middle of an intersection, chances are a cop observed them doing so incorrectly or unsafely. In either of those instances, an officer has the right to pull you over and issue a ticket. To review the Idaho vehicle code in its entirety, click here. In the meantime, stay safe and change lanes with care.

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