As snow continues to dump on the Boise area, we’re digging into some pressing questions you’ve had about winter related laws in the Gem State. 

For example, we’ve learned that no matter how much you don’t want to, you are legally required to shovel your sidewalks in Boise. We’re sure that the Boise Police Department has way better things to do than enforce the snow removal ordinance, but if you upset them enough or are a repeat offender…they just might! And the penalties can be steep. 

Communal service worker in uniform with a shovel clears snow in winter

Today, we’re answering the question “Is it illegal to pass a snowplow in Idaho?” With the number of people who moved here from areas of that state that don’t get a lot of snow, we’re not surprised this was something newer Idahoans are wondering about. 

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We get it. There’s nothing worse than getting a late start to the day on a morning when you already know the commute’s going to suck because it’s snowing. Visibility is low and you creep up on something with flashing lights. You realize it’s a slow-moving snowplow that’s going to make your commute even longer. Great. So...

Fact or Fiction: It’s Illegal to Pass a Snowplow in Idaho

Aaron Galloway/Townsquare Media
Aaron Galloway/Townsquare Media

This one is actually fiction. There are no laws on the books prohibiting you from passing a snowplow. You can do it, but you’re doing it at your own risk. You could potentially create a dangerous situation for you, the plow driver and other drivers around you. 

According to the Idaho Transportation Department for safety reasons, you should never pass a snowplow on the right. Not only could you clip the wing that extends up to 10 feet, the snow it’s spraying could be strong enough to cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

GOP Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Campaigns In Sioux City, IA
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They also say that when road conditions are yucky, being behind a plow is the best place you could be BUT you should leave enough following distance in case you hit a slick spot. Getting too close could also result in your car being doused in a de-icing agent, which could lead to corrosion issues. 

Snowplow Accidents on the Decline

Maybe it's the lack of snow we've seen this winter. Maybe it's the fact that ITD has done A LOT of social media awareness posts about the potential dangers of passing a snowplow. Either way, Idaho News 6 reports that only three snow plows have been hit by motorists this winter. That's down quite a bit from the 17 plows that were hit during Winter 2022-2023. 

5 Winter Laws, Rules and Etiquette That Everyone in Boise Needs to Know

When the temperatures drop and snow starts to fall, these are things that everyone living in Boise should know.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

KEEP READING: 15 Signs Boise Could Be in For a Harsh, Unforgiving Winter

According to the Farmer's Almanac, these are some mostly non-weather signs that Boise could be in for a harsh winter. Have you noticed any of them happening?

The Most Extreme Winter Temperatures in Idaho and Its Neighboring States

Stacker combed through NOAA data to track down the coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state in the United States. This is how old it's been in Idaho and our neighboring states.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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