Emergency Service

2017 Deadly Year On Boise Streets

If it seems like Boise streets are getting more dangerous, it is because traffic deaths more than doubled in 2017 over 2016.

The biggest jump was in deaths of motorcyclists: 9 in 2017 vs 0 in 2016.

Four pedestrians lost their lives and one bicyclist in both 2016 and 2017. Here are the raw figures:

2017 – 17 total
Single vehicle 3
Motorcycle 9
Vehicle vs pedestrian 4
Vehicle vs bicycle 1

2016 – 7 total
Single vehicle: 2
Vehicle vs motorcycle: 0
Vehicle vs pedestrian: 4
Vehicle vs bicycle: 1

Comments & Discussion

13 comments for “2017 Deadly Year On Boise Streets”

  1. Beiter forced out Chief Masterson 2 years ago and pulled back all traffic safety enforcement. Now we’re seeing the results – the police aren’t allowed to do their jobs so many more people are dying.

  2. Vehicle drivers need to put down their phones and pay attention to what is going on around them. I ride my bike in fair weather and constantly worry about getting mowed down by a distracted driver. I am always trying to make eye contact with vehicle drivers.

    There is no excuse to be killing pedestrians and bicycle riders. They are never going to win in a collision with a vehicle.

  3. Jean Fischer
    Jan 11, 2018, 5:06 am

    I’m wondering what the circumstances were? Speeding, intoxication, or? Wonder if any particular area or streets.

  4. Bieter Begone
    Jan 11, 2018, 7:05 am

    That’s why they’re called murdercyles or donorcycles.


  6. Too many drivers are heedless of Idaho crosswalk law, which gives pedestrians the right of way to cross at non-signalized intersections whether marked as crossings or not.

    There is little or no enforcement of this law in Boise, even cops disregard it. ACHD will not paint all lawful crosswalks—say, on Vista or Chinden—because people would think it safe to cross there.

    There are Idaho towns—Moscow comes to mind—where pedestrians are accorded courtesy. Driver education/training and enforcement are key.

    In the meantime, know that trying to cross some streets in Boise can be fatal.

  7. Clancy Anderson
    Jan 11, 2018, 12:23 pm

    It is worth noting that the rate of vehicles deaths is less in Boise than that of Ada County. While deaths of pedestrians and bicyclist happen at a higher rate in Boise City limits.
    This is mainly due to the slower speeds inside Boise an urban environment vs the higher speeds in the rest of Ada County including Meridian and Eagle. Boise is also generally more walkable and bikeable, so that explains the higher death rate of the active travel modes.

    While fatalities are a very sad and significant number, vehicles are involved in 95% of crashes in Ada County. http://gis.lhtac.org (2011-15)
    We need more enforcement and education for drivers while designing roads that don’t look like the Autobahn.

  8. Riding a motorcycle – particularly in traffic – is a calculated risk (like pretty much everything else!). They try to make that VERY clear in the STAR introductory course, and some prospective riders decide the reward isn’t worth the risk.

    There are things that motorcycle riders do, to to exacerbate (increase) the risk:
    – riding while impaired
    – speeding, crazy lane-changing, etc.
    – riding beyond skill level (EASY, on a 150hp motorcycle that will go 150mph!)
    – no protective gear

    There are also things that motorcycle riders can do, to mitigate (decrease) the risk:
    – riding sober
    – riding legally
    – riding visibly (bright colors instead of black, f’r example)
    – riding predictably
    – situational awareness (CRITICAL, IMO. I try to be aware of anything else that’s moving, and prepare as though it will become a threat. I try to watch my intended path, 1/2 mile up the road, and the road surface 50 feet in front of me, etc.)
    – safety gear (helmet instead of do-rag, armored jacket, boots, etc. If everything goes well, you won’t need any of this stuff. If it goes south on you, the gear might prevent death, or reduce injury. Or not.)

    It’s amazing, the high percentage of motorcycle fatalities and injuries that are single-vehicle crashes. In most cases, pretty easy to determine who was at fault.

    I’ve been motorcycling for 50+ years, well over 100,000 miles, here in Boise and within riding distance. Miraculously I survived the immortality of Reckless Youth. Now I try to ride mitigate-style, instead of exacerbate-style. So far, ZERO collisions, and I intend to keep it that way.

    (Sorry to wax verbose.)

  9. I brought my concerns to constituent services guy Jeff, in the mayors office in the city of Boise 4 times in the last two years. I’ve talked to 3 different officers the latest officer Paul Burch who informed me there are only ten officers whos job description is to enforce the rules of the road. Most other police, on the road, have other responsibilities. They can choose whether to enforce the rules of the road. Imagine the disgust when watching KTVB piece on the GRANT money, given to BPD to help make
    our roads safer! The police officer stopped someone going 6 miles over the speed limit and gave the driver a warning? AND I THINK MAYBE A CHOCOLATE BAR Policemen tell me we don’t have the funding SO then when grant money is available they don;t enforce the rules of the road. It is trickle down mismanagement. And I’ve noticed the excessive speeds are now carried over into our neighborhoods! All of the treasure valley roads are more dangerous. PS BPD added the word Lead on their cars? With the words Serve and protect. Where are we being led?

  10. It's not my fault!!
    Jan 11, 2018, 4:42 pm

    Motorcycle riders have super strength and superpowers so they cannot possibly be resulting in half the deaths. (The missing statistic is the gigantic numbers of not dead but might as well be motorcycle crashes.)

    Go to YouTube and search/view motorcycle crashes. You will see the vast majority of motorbikes that wreck are being driven outside the law and outside of commonsense. We all know this because we see it every time we drive.

    I’m truly disgusted by all the jackass motorcycle riders who blame ‘cagers’ for their own stupidity and recklessness.

  11. So.. there will be more members on the proposed? citizen advisory committee (12) than officers dedicated to traffic? That’s pretty funny.

  12. No Bones about it
    Jan 12, 2018, 2:06 am

    Frank there may be 10 officers to enforce traffic laws but those 10 I’d bet are never all on duty at the same time. I’d venture to say it’s probably closer to 5 at a time for the entire city. This gross understaffing is due to Chief Bones continuously eliminating traffic positions and making new, “more community oriented” positions. For example paying a police officer $70k a year to walk a mascot dog around town.

    We might never get to understand the cause of these crashes or what can be done to improve safety when fatal crashes occur because the Chief decided crash reconstruction was not a priority and got rid of the reconstruction team all together.

  13. Officer Paul Burch did inform me that when the BPD are called for traffic control for EVENTS, sporting games, parades, things as such, road enforcement officers are used!

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