The Idaho State Police is running an “all hands on deck” operation for enhanced patrols on this holiday weekend, with all commissioned officers, even those who usually work behind a desk, hitting the road as the holiday weekend opened July 3. David Frazier of the Boise Guardian reports that the operation led to something unusual: Col. Ralph Powell, ISP director, wrote his first citation in 11 years. He cited a young driver for inattentive driving, after he zoomed by the state’s top cop doing 70 mph in a 35 mph chip-seal construction zone.
“I hadn’t really planned to make any contacts,” Powell told Frazier. “I was just doing motorist assists and checking on abandoned vehicles so the troops could concentrate on the freeway.” He said the driver was “a really nice kid, but he sure wasn’t paying attention!” You can read Frazier’s full post here; he reports that Powell’s been a top official for so long his ticket book looks like a historical artifact, and he had to dig around in the trunk of his unmarked car to find it.
The enhanced holiday patrols are running statewide; ISP is advising patience for drivers, who they warn will face congestion in areas including Idaho 55 on Sunday afternoon, Highway 95 between Moscow and Lewiston, Highway 12 between Lewiston and Orofino, and Highway 93 and Idaho 75 between the Stanley Basin and the Wood River area. “We want to give our citizens added safety on the roads to start out the 4th of July holiday weekend,” says Powell. “Already this year ISP has investigated 35 fatalities on Idaho’s highways. We want to make sure everybody is able to celebrate our nation’s independence safely.”