Road Wizard 01/27/2020

Topics: Flashing-Yellow Intersections, Roadkill

Hello Road Wizard: Just curious, but if a person is on Chinden Boulevard and waiting to make a left onto Eagle Road at a flashing-yellow light, how many cars are allowed to be in the middle of the intersection waiting for cars to pass before turning? It’s a large intersection and usually there are two cars pulled into the middle waiting to turn, but sometimes people sit behind the crosswalk waiting for all the cars to pass. Christina

This is a difficult question to answer, and while code can give us some insight into the law, it really comes down to a law enforcement officer’s insight.

Idaho Code (49-804) states the following about flashing yellow operation:

“Flashing yellow (caution signal) – When a yellow lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, a driver may proceed through the intersection or past the signal only with caution.”

It’s pretty vague, but there’s this provision as well:

“49-614.  STOP WHEN TRAFFIC OBSTRUCTED. No driver shall enter an intersection, a marked crosswalk, or drive onto any railroad grade crossing unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection, crosswalk or railroad grade crossing to accommodate the vehicle he is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles, pedestrians or railroad trains, regardless of any traffic control signal indication to proceed.”

This applies largely to downtowns with close block spacing or highly congested corridors and states a vehicle can’t turn left when the vehicular queue on the street they are turning onto would cause them to block opposing traffic. Ultimately, this question is better suited for an enforcement agency to interpret.

Dear Road Wizard: Who is responsible for cleaning up roadkill? Casey

I will start with the simple answer--ACHD is not responsible for roadkill in Ada County.

Though most of us hate to see animals who’ve met an untimely fate on the road, dead animals should be reported to Idaho Fish and Game for removal. It may take them some time to retrieve the animal, however.

Also, effective spring of 2012, animals may be salvaged for personal use. If one chooses to salvage the animal, they must notify Fish and Game within 24 hours and obtain a free Wildlife Salvage permit within 72 hours. More information can be found at this link:


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