Like their counterparts across the country, Idaho drivers will hit the roads this weekend for an extended Fourth of July vacation, turning Wednesday’s holiday into a longer break from work.
Although AAA of Oregon/Idaho indicates it will cost less this week to fill gas tanks than a month ago, the cost still will be substantially higher than a year ago. The average cost for a gallon of unleaded self-service gas in Idaho this week was $3.16. That is about 26 percent more than a year ago and is about 18 cents higher than the national average of $2.98, said AAA's Dave Carlson.
ITD urges you to drive carefully wherever your travels take you – whether to a nearby picnic area, recreational campground, or on cross-state vacation. Because of an expected increase in holiday traffic, motorists are urged to be patient, abstain from aggressive driving and avoid taking risks on Idaho’s highways. Select a designated driver if your party plans include alcohol, and remember to buckle up – Idaho law also requires the use of seat belts.
The Office of Highway Operations and Safety (OHOS) reports four fatal collisions, claiming a total of five lives last year from June 30 to July 5, 2006. In contrast, there were three fatal collisions and four fatalities in 2005 and two collisions that claimed four lives in 2004.
Of last year’s collisions, speed was a contributing factor in two fatal crashes, alcohol use in one fatal crash and over-correction a factor in another.
OHOS reports a total of 285 collisions during the holiday period last year, up significantly from the 222 recorded in 2005 and 218 in 2004.
Most construction projects on Idaho’s state highways and interstates will be suspended from late Tuesday through Wednesday.
Motorists are encouraged to call Idaho Traveler Services by dialing 511 from any phone in Idaho to obtain the latest road and weather information. The same information also is available on the Internet at 511.idaho.gov . Several new highway cameras have been added and should be operational before Independence Day, offering much improved images.
New cameras recently were installed at:
To access the camera images, go to 511.idaho.gov and select “Cameras” from the menu at the top of the page.