Speeding on I-84
It's late. You're on your way home from an event, and because you've had what feels like the longest day ever, you're in a hurry to get there. I-84 is wide open, so you figure there's no harm in going five-to-10 miles over the posted speed limit of 65 miles-per-hour.
That's when you see what looks like an unmarked police patrol car parked on the shoulder. Yikes! What now? Much to your surprise, nothing. No flashing lights, no pursuit. You just avoided what would've been a $90 speeding violation in Idaho traffic court. But how?
Unmarked Police Cars in Idaho
You know you broke the law, so why didn't you get pulled over? As it turns out, Idaho law enforcement cannot pull you over in an unmarked vehicle for a routine traffic violation.
Police may not use an unmarked vehicle for either routine or official traffic control. Idaho State Police are currently proposing a less strict policy. -Henry Cesari
Motor & Wheel clarifies that while multiple states permit law enforcement to use unmarked police cars to patrol traffic, they cannot issue traffic citations or conduct routine traffic stops.
There's a Catch
But not so fast, friend. That doesn't mean you're off the hook if an officer in an unmarked car spots you pulling a Jimmie Johnson on I-84. There's a catch.
If a cop in an unmarked vehicle busts you speeding, it's well within their purview "to radio a fully marked police car or police SUV to pull you over." In a hypothetical scenario like the one above, however, you simply got lucky. The imaginary cop probably didn't see you speeding, or they would've radioed for backup.