Safety is the operative word for holiday weekend
Economic conditions, largely fueled by soaring gas prices, probably will keep more Idahoans closer to home for the three-day Fourth of July holiday weekend. But many drivers still will venture onto Idaho highways in pursuit of recreation and relief from the heat.
ITD joins law enforcement officers throughout the state in urging motorists to drive safely this weekend.
Construction and maintenance activities on state highway projects will be suspended for the three-day holiday to minimize delays for motorists. Contractors have the discretion to continue working if their activity does not directly impact travel.
ITD will provide traffic control Sunday (July 6) on Idaho 55 at the Banks-to-Lowman Road. Flaggers will help direct traffic flow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for vehicles turning south (left) from the road onto Idaho 55. Some minor delays are possible, and motorists are urged to use caution around the flaggers.
The latest information on highway and weather conditions is available through Idaho’s 511 Traveler Services Web site, 511.idaho.gov or by dialing 5-1-1 from within the state.
To improve safety for all travelers, ITD encourages motorists to observe the following:
- Do not drive after consuming alcohol. Hand your keys over to a designated, non-drinking driver or wait until the influence of alcohol wears off. ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety reminds motorists that law enforcement officers will increase DUI patrols on Idaho highways and near popular recreation destinations during the holiday weekend.
- Drunk driving laws also apply to the operation of watercraft on Idaho’s rivers and lakes. Extra patrols will monitor boaters for compliance during the holiday weekend.
- Be patient. With more traffic on Idaho highways, travel time may be extended to popular destinations. Allow extra time to reach your destination, including your travel home. Holiday weekends generally produce more recreational vehicle traffic, which can slow driving. Use extra care when passing slower vehicles and pass only where safe. Passing is unlawful when there is a double yellow line or a solid line on your side of the centerline. Roadside signs also indicate no passing zones in some areas.
- Share the travel lanes. If traffic is building behind your vehicle, use pullouts or stay in the right lane where passing lanes exist. Be courteous and allow passing vehicles room to merge back into your lane.
- Motorists are asked to avoid the use of cellular telephones or other distractions while driving. Devote your full attention to safe operation of your vehicle.
- Recent high temperatures have elevated the risk of wildfires. Build campfires only in designated areas, be careful of off-highway travel and do not discard lighted cigarettes or other burning material from your vehicle.
- Hot, dry weather also can cause vehicles to overheat on steep inclines, when carrying heavy loads and towing trailers. Carry extra water to put in radiators. Also watch for over-heated brakes when on steep downgrades. Use emergency escape ramps if brakes fail.