Hitchhiker Worries - Is Hitchhiking SAFE? Is it LEGAL in...?

New to digihitch or first-time hitchhiker? This is your place. Post your questions/ concerns. (A sparkie is a new member or a novice hitchhiker full of ideas & questions.) Need regional/ destination tips? Post in a regional forum, not here. This forum is for tips about general hitchhiking aimed at beginners.

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Hitchhiker Worries - Is Hitchhiking SAFE? Is it LEGAL in...?

Postby Salman » July 1st, 2006, 3:23 am

This post will be expanded to include more articles and tips about these frequent questions among new hitchhikers-- safety and legalities.

To start, read these articles:[list:6dc99835f3]
[*:6dc99835f3]About Hitchhiking FAQ- www.digihitch.com/faq-7.html#About+Hitchhiking
[*:6dc99835f3]A Primer on Hitchhiking Laws in the USA- www.digihitch.com/usa428.html[/list:u:6dc99835f3]

Also view hitchhiking laws for each US State at http://laws.digihitch.com/ - or navigate to a state and find highway info, rankings and laws at http://www.digihitch.com/world/

[b:6dc99835f3]Print any of our hitchhiker road guides for free[/b:6dc99835f3] at http://guides.digihitch.com/ - guides for US laws contain 6 states each, with legal info.

Veteran hitchhikers- if you have more tips, post a reply.
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Morgan Strub
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Postby IR1031 » June 14th, 2007, 12:02 pm

Is there any short guide that gives the general idea for laws in all of the states, sort of like a list?

I just don't want to have a plan on which states I travel to, and I imagine keeping the laws in my head for all 48 states that I may possibly be traveling through would prove quite difficult.
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Short list of hitchhiking laws

Postby Salman » June 16th, 2007, 2:02 am

[quote:f4a47b0d76="IR1031"]Is there any short guide that gives the general idea for laws in all of the states, sort of like a list?[/quote:f4a47b0d76]

There's no short guide, but the Primer on Hitchhiking Laws listed above does give the skinny by which all states base their own laws: www.digihitch.com/usa428.html

We are also creating the hitchhiking law guides at the new link I added to the original post: http://guides.digihitch.com/laws

And you can search for a specific state and print its laws at http://laws.digihitch.com/

Down the road we may be able to make a complete guide with all 50 states in one, but there are a lot of legal definitions that need to be listed for some states, so for now we just give them in bite-size pages.
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Re: Short list of hitchhiking laws

Postby IR1031 » June 18th, 2007, 3:05 pm

Thanks for the response. I guess I'll just have to follow a couple of common rules and apply them to whichever state I may end up in.

I guess if you stay on the on-ramps in most states, that works. And some states are probably off limits (such as the one I live in, New Jersey).

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it depends

Postby austinla » November 6th, 2007, 2:01 pm

I was speaking to a police officer two nights ago (long story), and asked about hitch hiking laws. I live in California, and he said though it's technically illegal, he personally wouldn't hassle anyone hitchhiking. If he saw them on the side of the road in a place he though was dangerous, he would tell them to move, but other than that he said its up to the hitcher to decide if thats how he/she would like to travel. So i guess my point is, there are a lot of different laws in different places, but it all depends on if the officer who sees you wants to be a jerk or not
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Postby thegermandude » April 11th, 2008, 10:59 am

that's my experience, too. I hitchhiked quite a bit in Nor Cal. Cops saw me and didn't even bother to look my way when they passed.
As long as you don't do funny or dangerous stuff Cali is pretty cool. I haven't been to nj but heard it's the worst state to hitchhike in.

so long
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How Safe for Woman Hitch Hiker?

Postby kimjungim365 » April 7th, 2009, 3:05 pm

Since I've never hitch hiked before "How Safe is Hitch Hiking for a Woman?" "How many experience Women Hitch Hikers are out there?"
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Postby GarlicBreath » November 21st, 2010, 3:47 pm

I'd say: Be cool, be safe, be somewhat professional and the cops will be your friends. Heck I've PANHANDLED right under the noses of cops and never had a problem because of the way I did it. (I'm not saying panhandling is great, just saying, cops will let you get away with a lot as long as you're not a PITA.)
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Postby bushpig » August 31st, 2011, 7:03 am

I agree with most of the people here about being respectful of cops and they'll basically leave you alone.

Cops get a bad reputation because of some bad apples, but in general, it's just another profession. Most of them just want to get their paycheck with as little work as possible. For a cop to hassle you, that's extra work when you're not hurting anyone. And for a cop to take you in, that's even more work, including paperwork.

I'm new here in case you couldn't tell by my post number or join date (researching my first hitching trip), but I've had enough experience speaking with cops. Even the one time I was arrested (in Manhattan), the cops were pretty cool and didn't even cuff me until right before we entered the station.

Anyways, it's easy to get caught up in the 'F- Tha Police!' hooplah, but most of them are just people, trying to make a living.
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