Safety Laws in Idaho

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The Idaho Statutes under Title 49 covers all laws regarding motor vehicle and motorcycles operation in Idaho. The DMV website also provides more information about the vehicle code. Apart from the above sources, you can also read some of the basic information about Idaho safety laws below.

Seat Belts

The Idaho Statute 49-673 requires all drivers and passengers to wear seat belts whenever the vehicle is in motion. However, there are some exceptions as explained below:

  • You will be exempted from the above requirement if you have a physical or medical condition that is making it impossible to use a seat belt. You must carry a statement from a medical professional supporting your condition.
  • You will be exempted from the above requirement if you are an occupant in an emergency vehicle, husbandry vehicle or mail delivery vehicle.
  • Also, if all the seat belts in a vehicle are already in use, you may be excused.

If you are younger than 18 years old and you are caught not wearing a seat belt, you will face a fine of up to $10.

Child Car Seats

Any child younger than 6 years old must ride in a child safety restraint system. According to the Idaho Statute 49-672, a child safety restraint system must be approved federally. Exceptions include:

  • When a doctor in a vehicle is holding a child to get emergency treatment.
  • When all seat belts in a vehicle are in use.

Cellular Phones

The state does not ban the use of cell phones while driving. However, the state bans all drivers from texting, regardless of age.

Idaho Helmets laws

  • Idaho doesn’t have a state-wide law on the use of helmets by bicycle riders. However, the state strongly recommends the use of helmets to reduce the risk of head injuries in case of accidents.
  • According to Idaho Statute 49-666, all ATV drivers and motorcycle riders younger than 18 years old must wear an approved protective headgear while riding on public roads.

The Idaho Bicycle Commuter Guide provides useful information on the importance of wearing helmets. This guide also provides helpful information on buying and installing helmets. For additional bicycle related laws, read the Idaho Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.


Idaho Statute 49-905 states that all motor vehicles must be fitted with 2 working headlights in each side of front section. All motorcycles must be fitted with at least 1 headlight in the front side. According to this statute, headlights must be turned on from sunset to sunrise and whenever the visibility can allow drivers to see vehicles within 500 feet.

Unattended Motor Vehicles

As per the Idaho Statute 49-602, it is illegal to leave a vehicle unattended while the engine is running. If you intend to leave you car unattended, you must turn off the engine, lock the ignition, set the brakes and remove the keys.

Unattended Children and Pets

It’s well known that leaving a child or a pet unattended in a vehicle is dangerous. You will compromise their safety and health, especially if the weather is extremely cold or hot. The Idaho Department of Transportation has various articles detailing dangers if leaving a child or pet unattended in a vehicle. Some of these articles include:

  • Cars can become deadly ovens on wheels.
  • Triple-digit heat dangers for vehicle occupants.
  • Cars can become lethal 'ovens' for young children.
  • Hot cars can become deadly ovens for children.
  • Sweltering cars fatal to young children.

Reporting Unsafe and Drunk Drivers

If you suspect an unsafe or drunk driver, especially those driving dangerously, call the law enforcement officers immediately.