Can You Legally Hitchhike In British Columbia?
Generally speaking, the act of hitchhiking itself is not an illegal practice in the province of British Columbia. However, there are instances in which you could be arrested for it. Though not because you were hitchhiking, but rather because you were violating the rules and regulations surrounding road safety. Thus, in order to avoid this from happening to you in the future, we have gathered the rules and regulations which you should keep in mind if you plan on going hitchhiking in the future.
What to keep in mind so you can ensure legal hitchhiking practices in British Columbia
The first thing to do as you are considering getting from point A to point B via hitchhiking, is to plan where you are going to be standing as you are asking to be picked up by passing vehicles. Standing in the road, for one, would mean violating traffic safety laws, and would thus be an illegal practice. Therefore, any section of the road that is destined for motorized vehicles to use, is not a viable option for hitchhikers to be waiting on.
What is your legal alternative? The answer is the shoulder of the road, also known as the curb at the side of the road which is restricted from all motorized traffic. This area is typically covered in either concrete or grass and is usually meant to be used by pedestrians. By keeping this area sectioned off, pedestrians can be protected from passing traffic. Even if you don't consider yourself to be a pedestrian as you are hitchhiking, you are still equally as vulnerable, so please stay safe and legal by restricting yourself to the shoulder of the road.
There really is only one exception to this rule, and that is when you are thinking of hitchhiking along Schedule One highways and freeway, because hitchhiking from there in general is illegal and extremely dangerous. You should never even leave your vehicle when you are moving along the stretches of the road.There truly is only one instance in which it is okay to leave your vehicle on the freeway or along a Schedule One highway. And that is when your car has broken down and you are in need of assistance by emergency services or passing vehicles.
Where can I find the laws covering hitchhiking in British Columbia?
You should check both the Safe Streets Act and the Motor Vehicle Act. Additionally, you can always talk with a personal injury lawyer in Richmond. They understand the laws and regulations related to such accidents and can help you process the claim. Seeking professional legal guidance will help you maximize your claim.