Emergency Service

“Hang Up And Drive”

If you are one of those who think the coppers are ignoring enforcement of the “no texting law,” think again.

The GUARDIAN has obtained data from Fourth District Traffic Court showing that 1866 tickets were issued in Ada County alone in 2021.

Here is a breakdown of the enforcement actions.

Boise City PD–961
Eagle City PD–32
Garden City PD–193
Kuna City PD–1
Meridian City PD–336
Star City Police Department–1

Total Citations Issued in Ada County–1866

The “hands free” law for electronic devices applies even when you are stopped in traffic at a light or stop sign. The GUARDIAN monitors the fatal crashes from the Idaho State Police and a horrifying number of crashes report, “The driver crossed the center line and collided with an oncoming vehicle.” Many of those reports detail the driver first went off the right side of the road, and over-corrected.

While the cause is seldom listed as “inattention or distracted driving,” the results often indicate otherwise.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. It would be worth knowing how many of the 1866 tickets were issued to out of state drivers?

  2. Thanks for the info, Dave. (Maybe one of the “mainstream” local news outlets will pick this up.)

    If distracted drivers only put themselves at mortal risk, I’d happily let nature take its course. Tragically, many, MANY people are affected in life-changing ways, just because they were innocently in the path of destruction.

    Piloting a 4000-pound steel missile is serious business!

  3. All I can say is that it’s a regular occurrence that the light turns green and the car in front of me needs a honk to get them off the phone and on the gas.

  4. We were told how serious this was and it necessitated the new law. Now you tell me it is still serious regardless of the new law. Any stats on how many fewer “inattentive or distracted” accidents after the new law? Was the new law ineffective?

  5. A convincing argument can be made that society has actually regressed in the last 20 or so years after cell phones, and later ‘smart’ phones, have been in common use. For the average person they are a colossal time and money sink, and contribute relatively little to productivity or convenience.

  6. ^ awful statement. A smart phone is a computer in your hand.
    An argument could be made the internal combustion engine is a colossal time and money sink as a waste,,,says the Amish. Old people! Can’t fix cranky.

  7. Thanks for checking into this. I doubt we will be able to see how effective the new law is in such a short period of time. On a related note, 2020 and 2021 are proving to be the deadliest on the road in Idaho and the whole USA.

  8. Clancy, Blaine County did the test for some period prior. Did anyone check their experience of effectiveness before making the leap statewide?

  9. NannyStateLaw
    Jan 4, 2022, 2:12 pm

    It’s a nanny-state kinda law when there are already several laws available to address careless fools on the road.

    Mute points anyway given the ridiculous public reaction to the unpleasant reality of policing thugs. Nobody wants to be a cop. Recently cops hesitating and cops using less initial force than they would have a few years ago are being hurt and killed when encountering thugs. The cops we do keep are going to be assigned to suppress the most violent crimes, so you will be on your own about the driver with the cell phone or barking dogs etc. (This statement is not true in Boise yet, but look at who we elected and what their goals are. Give it time to fester.)

    Editor, any numbers on police recruitment retention attrition. How many experienced cops moving in from big metro areas?

  10. I don’t understand the problem with any step (or law) that will ultimately help increase safety on the roads. Here are some Idaho statistics from the Idaho office of traffic safety https://apps.itd.idaho.gov/Apps/OHS/Crash/20/Analysis.pdf

    1. A traffic crash occurred every 23 minutes

    2. A person was killed in a traffic crash every 41 hours.

    3.A person was injured in a traffic crash every 46 minutes.

    4. The economic cost of crashes in Idaho involving distracted driving was over $601 million dollars in 2020.

    5. The estimated cost of Idaho crashes including injuries and fatalities in 2020 was nearly $3.85 billion.

  11. Only asking, Clancy, where is the statistic showing that this law alleviates any of your other statistics?

    EDITOR NOTE–Impossible to quantify an unknown. For instance it would be like trying to determine how many lives were saved by smoke detectors vs no smoke detectors. Bottom line: texting and using a phone while driving can be deadly.

  12. Does the drunk-driving law reduce the number of drunk drivers?

    I don’t know how you would measure that, but I have a feeling that it’s a deterrent for a certain percentage of otherwise-drunk drivers.

    Does that pesky nanny-state seat belt law increase the number of seat belt wearers?


    Many people advocate for a mandatory helmet law, for motorcycle riders… and in fact they are mandatory in many states, including nearby Oregon.

    The difference between a helmet law and a “handheld electronics law” is… an unprotected motorcycle rider isn’t any less likely to kill you or somebody dear to you. Innocents are killed every day by distracted drivers! If a “nanny law” keeps me, or one of my kids or grandkids alive, then I’m generally in favor of Nanny Interference.

  13. Caeth, Look at pg 57 of my link, it shows a graphic for distracted driving crashes and fatalities. 75% of deaths due to “Distracted Driving” are caused by electronic communication devises. I assume we will need to see the 2021 statistics before we can see if this law is effective in reducing crashes and fatalities.

    What do you have against a law that is meant to protect those on the road? Do you have a the same problem with the DUI laws as those could be covered under another driving law?

  14. HANDS UP. I can’t text. DON’T SHOOT!

    For comparison, in 2020, Ada County reported 1,247 DUI arrests. Of course, 2020 included a lot less driving (& more drinking) than the typical year.

    More typical year, in 2019 there were 1,669 DUI arrests in Ada County. Maybe the Editor can get current 2021 stats for DUI, and inattentive.

    In summary, 1,866 text violators compared to LESS drunk violators.

    Everything is relative.
    $75 penalty or a $1,000+?
    To say nothing of the greater difference of 2nd and 3rd offenses comparatively.

    But, does any agency in Ada County have a Texting Task Force?

    Are coppers ignoring phone-driving? Well, I doubt they are focused on it like other things.

    BPD has DUI Step nights. Squad vehicles with decals identifying them, has a whole campaign and budgeted items for 1 focus- follow the money.

    “Yo Sergeant, you’re on the Hang Up and Drive Team Task Force for some overtime hours this weekend.” No way!

    Stopped on suspicion of DUI on a Friday night, 2 or 3 patrols show up. Do they do that for texting? Cops divert their resources and numbers from other things based on their priority of chasing drunks instead of actual unsafe driving.

    This law started July 2020.
    Seen any PSA about it? I haven’t.
    Ever heard of MATWD, Mothers Against Texting While Driving?

    If the Legislature and the coppers were reasonable, they would make using a device, inattentive, distracted driving, reckless, and DUI all the same penalty and all the same enforcement efforts. The first clue for enforcement- bad driving. Easy!

    Tomorrow a cop pulls you over for not using a blinker and asks to see your phone to test your recent calls and texts.
    “Sir, how many texts have you been making tonight?”
    “Just 2. I swear”.
    Refuse to show em your phone history and that’s just another big fine and a trip to Barrister!

    FYI Nanny, Cops don’t suppress violent crimes. They respond AFTER the crime and try to put the offender in jail. The police model is respond with a gun- not prevent.

  15. Editor, cannot you show the decrease of accidents since the law? Surly insurance companies have those stats. Numbers show how many fewer have died per fire since the requirement of detectors. How many lives were saved in Blaine Co. compared to the rest of the State when they had the law earlier? Someone can find those numbers. I expect it’s more deadly to try to eat a hard shell taco than a burger while driving. Special law needed?

  16. Caeth, we’ll never know how many of the statistics from Clancy were caused by a driver while using their hand held device? Some are the windshield and some are the BUG!

  17. This is so irrelevant…phone usage while driving? We are in the midst of a government created pandemic that is negatively influencing many of lives unnecessarily, and this is what warrants attention? Ree-dick-U-Lus Priorities people! Remember 2 years ago…15 days to stop the spread. Masks don’t work, now they work, then one vaccine and all will be good, now 2, now 3, now a booster…heads out of the sand please kind people…

  18. People! Don’t distract NATE from the pandemic!

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