ONTARIO—For drivers in Idaho, the 80 mph speed limit through rural interstates 15, 84 and 86 means quick commutes and speedy drives.
Interstate 84, which connects Idaho, Oregon and Utah, was one of the stretches of interstate that in late July saw the increase from 75 to 80 mph for motorists and 65 to 70 mph for trucks.
But for police, there has been a spike in the number of speeding tickets issued along Interstate 84. That may be a combination of drivers going too fast as well as speeding through construction zones; there are several on the interstate east of Ontario.
Teresa Baker with the Idaho State Police said that between July 24, when the speed change took effect, and late August, officers wrote significantly more speeding tickets than last year.
“We had about 100 more speeding tickets in that time frame,” Baker said.
Baker said this isn’t necessarily just because the speed limit is now 5 mph higher than it was in June. Officers do not distinguish between zones where speeding tickets are written, she said; they just issue a speeding ticket if a motorists is caught exceeding the limit.
Although Interstate 84 has close to 30 miles of road between the Oregon border and Boise that have 80 mph speed limits, much of that stretch of interstate runs through urban areas, where the limit is 65 mph.
“Most of the area along I-84 isn’t 80 miles per hour, so that sort of skews the numbers as well,” Baker said.
Construction zones along the interstate may account for the increase in tickets as well. Baker said the department has grants to pay officers overtime to watch those areas where work is being done to the roads.