Teenagers from across the Gem state were on a mission Thursday in the City of Trees. They teamed up with the Idaho Transportation Department to look for risky driving behaviors along Front Street.
Traffic just before the noon lunch hour in downtown Boise is busy. But on this day, members of Mayor Youth Councils from all corners of the state are taking note of what they see.
Anissa Bowen is looking specifically for aggressive drivers, which are those who speed up when the light turns yellow and make no attempt to stop when it's red. However, it's not the first time the 15-year-old has observed risky driving behaviors.
"They're going 80 miles-an-hour and they're not paying attention to the road at all, and it's terrifying," Bowen says. "I know that me, as a driver, I won't be on my phone."
Waiting to get a driver's license until she matures more, Bowen is holding off for a couple of years but even her advisor was shocked at what she saw.
"I've seen a couple cars as pedestrians were coming through... see the pedestrians and keep going," says Shara Roberts, the city clerk for Iona who serves as the MYAC adviser. "It's an eye-opener for sure because you don't think about those things as the driver behind the wheel but when you are taking the time to observe, it's pretty crazy."
The road safety assessments will be handed off to the state Office of Highway Safety. The data could help shape new laws aimed at improving safety for all roadway users.
It ended up being a perfect service project for the teenagers attending a leadership conference this week at the Boise Centre.
"The youth have a voice and if they decide to use that voice then the adults will listen to us," Bowen says. "We are the future generation."