State of Legality Regarding Hitchhiking In British Columbia

If you plan on hitchhiking to some place soon in British Columbia, you should first inform yourself about road laws. While technically not illegal, there are still multiple situations in which you may be arrested as you try to hitchhike. To avoid this from happening, we have put together a little guide which will help you understand the correct way to ask a stranger for a ride from the roadside.

The Legal Way To Hitchhike In British Columbia

The first step for you should be to think about where you plan to stand as you make your request to a passing driver. Standing in the roadway is illegal, but what exactly is a roadway anyway? Well, the correct definition would be a road which is designed for traffic, aka, if it is built for a vehicle to drive on top of it, you aren't allowed to stand on it to hitchhike. Then how are you supposed to get that ride you so desperately need?

The best way is to go and stand on the shoulder of the roadway. This is the curb vehicles aren't allowed access to. Most of the time, it is covered by either grass or concrete and built for pedestrians as a way to avoid getting run over by the vehicles driving by. If you use this, you will ensure your own as well as the drivers' safety while also obeying the law.

The one exception for this is the shoulder of Schedule One highways and freeways since being outside of your vehicle along these roads is extremely dangerous as well as illegal. However, there is also an exception to this rule which is limited to accidents and out of commission vehicles in which you have no other choice, but to exit and request emergency assistance.

Motor Vehicle Act and Safe Streets Act

The Motor Vehicle Act details a series of rules regarding pedestrians and the operation of vehicles in British Columbia. When it comes to hitchhiking, you should look up the section detailing the laws regarding pedestrians walking along highways.

Among this, you will find the law which states pedestrians are obligated to use sidewalks if available and always head in the direction facing the oncoming cars. If a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians are obligated to keep to the far left of the shoulder. More specifically regarding hitchhiking, the Motor Vehicle Act states that rides may only be solicited in emergency situations. And if you are involved in any mishap, the laws change. Thus, if you were in any accident after seeking assistance from a passerby, contact an injury lawyer in Burnaby.