Most Frequently Broken Traffic Laws


Kailynn Miller, Editor-In-Chief

There are many laws that are commonly broken, but what are some of the most common traffic laws that are broken in everyday life? The most common traffic law that is broken by many individuals with their driver’s license is: driving without a seatbelt. Did you know that driving without a seatbelt is illegal? Driving without a seatbelt in Idaho is considered a secondary crime and for your first offense you can be fined $10. Not only is driving without a seatbelt illegal, but it is also extremely dangerous. In 2017, it was found that out of 37,133 fatal car wrecks, 17,452 of those individuals were not wearing seatbelts. 

Another law that is commonly not followed is distracted driving. Most people when they hear the term distracted driving they think of texting and driving, this is one of the most common examples; there is also talking on the phone while driving, eating or drinking, putting on makeup while driving (yes people do that), rubbernecking- ex. Staring at an accident on the side of the road rather than focusing on the road in front of you. Some other common examples of distracted driving are things such as: singing or listening to music while driving, while this is not illegal it can still be dangerous if it takes your attention off of the road. One last example is trying to retrieve or grab something that fell down while you were driving- this is a very dangerous thing to do and can cause a horrible accident. For your first offense of distracted driving in Idaho, you can receive a $75 fine, second offense you are looking at a $150 fine, and on your third offense you are looking at a $300 fine. It isn’t worth it to drive distracted, it isn’t worth your life or the lives of those around you who you are endangering.

The third most frequently broken traffic law is: making illegal maneuvers while in a motor vehicle. These illegal maneuvers consist of things such as, illegal U-turns, running stop signs, failure to yield to others, etc. What is a common occurence of people failing to yield to others? Did you know that when you are entering the freeway from the on ramp, you are supposed to yield to those already on the freeway? Those on the freeway moving into the passing lane is only a considerate thing that they are doing- they do not have to move over for you. 

The next most frequently broken law is driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. You would think that after all these years of people saying “don’t drink and drive” people may catch on to how dangerous it is. 

Another frequently broken traffic law is cars passing a bus after they stop to either pick up or drop off a student. When a bus stops, you can see their flashing lights and a stop sign come out. This stop sign and flashing lights are to tell you that a child is about to get off of the bus. Cars need to stop coming from both directions so that the child can safely cross the street if they need to. There have been many accidents where people don’t abide by the stop sign on the bus and children are attempting to cross the street but end up getting hit. This stop sign, even though it isn’t in the ground, is not optional. This stop sign is to protect children’s lives. 

The last most frequently broken traffic law that I am going to go over is: Right of way errors. Many people come to a stop and they are unsure of who has the right of way, many people assume it is them and this can cause many accidents. Two common examples are at the four way stop and the two way stop. When you stop at a four way intersection, the person who gets to go first who ever has fully stopped at the intersection first. If it comes down to it and you don’t know who stopped first because it was about the same time, the person with the right of way is the one on the right. If there are three cars that stop at practically the same time and nobody is sure, the car on the furthest left should wait until both cars on the right have gone. Any car that is going to impede the flow of traffic by going does not have the right of way. For example, if a car is going straight and another is turning across their lane of traffic, the car going straight has the right of way because they are not impeding the flow of traffic. The same idea goes for two way stops in Idaho- which many people seem to not understand, and often drive when it is not their turn, resulting in car accidents. Whichever car was stopped at the stop sign in a two way stop get to go first, they have the right of way no matter what. If the two cars stop at the same time, the one on the right has the right of way. 

Now that you have read about some of the most frequently broken traffic laws and some of the consequences of each, think about your own driving: have you ever made any of these mistakes? If you said yes, now you know that what you are doing is illegal and may think twice about it next time.