Idaho road rules epiphanies...they happen.

Just a few years ago, we found out we'd been misusing the center lane in Idaho our entire adult lives.

It still amazes us how we didn't rack up dozens of traffic tickets prior to our Idaho road rule epiphany. What was even weirder was that we knew we had misused the center lane right in front of Idaho State Police, Boise Sheriffs, and multiple other Treasure Valley law enforcement branches/officers.

We vividly recall doing it, yet they never gigged us or wrote us a ticket. Not that we're complaining, mind you. Perhaps they were being kind and letting us slide. Or were they unfamiliar with the official use of Idaho's most elusive roadway feature?

This is how we were misusing Idaho's center lane...

Let's clear up a common misconception. The center lane, often referred to as the 'suicide lane' by Idaho drivers, is not for merging into traffic.

Its purpose is to provide a safe space for drivers making left turns from either direction of the road!  

Mind-blowing, isn't it?! Now, technically speaking, we weren't wrong about the purpose of the center lane/suicide lane; it's how we were using it that was incorrect.

If we were pulling out of Eagle Christian Church in Star off State Street and Highway 16 and we needed to head west (make a left) on State Street, we would do something like this:

  • Clear oncoming traffic, geese, and cyclists to our right and left;
  • floor the gas pedal to the suicide lane;
  • clear the lane to our right again;
  • and then, as we were in the limbo-like lane, we'd pick up enough speed to merge into traffic without getting hit or slowing it down.

If you're wondering what the heck could possibly be wrong about what we were doing, check out the gallery below.

It explains exactly how Idahoans are actually supposed to maneuver in and out of the Gem States's suicide lane.

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Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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