A Boise stoplight held me hostage.

Have you ever been stuck at a red light in Boise for what seems like an eternity, just waiting for it to turn green? I have. But what's even more frustrating is when the stoplight won't change because because it's broken and busted like a can of biscuits. 

This actually happened to me last week at East Park Blvd. and South Walnut Street just outside of downtown Boise. 

Because the roads were icy and still caked with sludgy snow, I had no choice but to wait 12 minutes before I could clear traffic and get through the intersection between lights. 

Immediately after pulling through the intersection, I worried I might get a ticket if Boise Police saw what I did. Just pulling the maneuver in front of other drivers made me feel self-conscious.  

So, I did what any millennial would do: I Googled it while I was waiting in line at Chic-Fil-A down the street. What can I say? Anxiety makes me hungry 😉 

Thankfully, the spicy chicken sandwich coupled with my Google search put me totally at ease. 

You can't blow through a broken stoplight in Boise, but you can drive through it.  

Idaho law says that when a stoplight malfunctions, locals can treat the intersection as a four-way stop. 

But hang on a sec. That doesn't give us the green light to blow through a broken stoplight. Just like we would at a four-way stop sign, we still need to come to a full stop at the intersection and follow right-of-way rules. 

Also, never ever forget to double-check for pedestrians, cyclists, or kids if you're near a school zone or pulling out of a residential area.  

Do Boise locals have to wait for a specific time period? 

Actually, no. We were today-years-old when we learned we don't have to wait for a minimum period before going through a malfunctioning stoplight. 

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Unlike a regular signal where you have to wait for a green light to move forward, you can pull through an intersection with a malfunctioning stoplight as soon as it's your turn to safely do so. 

If they're there regulating a broken stoplight, stop for cops. 

If Boise Police are directing traffic at a broken stoplight, always defer to their guidance. 

Also, keep in mind that the rules for a malfunctioning stoplight only apply to intersections with four or fewer approaches. I can't say I've ever driven through one with four or more in Boise, but if you come across one, be as careful as possible before you decide to move through the intersection.  

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