Is it Legal to Hitchhike in North Dakota?
I saw an article from Post Bulletin titled "Is it legal to hitchhike in Minnesota?" So, I naturally wondered the same thing about North Dakota. I decided not to write on the subject because I have personally never come across a hitchhiker in this state... UNTIL TODAY!
I have seen many panhandlers at all times of the year, but I have never come across a hitchhiker in North Dakota. Then, today, I was heading west, toward Mandan, and I saw a man with his thumb in the air at the bottom of the westbound offramp of Exit 157. The person was scarily close to the solid white line on the shoulder. It was surprising to see a hitchhiker on 94, and I was honestly a bit worried that this dude could easily get clipped by one of the cars racing by!
My next thought: "Is it legal to hitchhike in North Dakota?" According to North Dakota Century Code's General Rules of the Road - 39-10-34. Pedestrian soliciting ride or business "1. No person may stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride." The Motor Vehicles century code defines "Roadway" as a "means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder."
So, just like Minnesota, it would appear that hitchhiking IS LEGAL, as long as the hitchhiker is not impeding traffic. To me, hitchhiking seems too sketchy for everyone involved. I decided to look up hitchhiker safety tips and came across a Forbes article that did not ease my apprehension about hitchhiking. With tips instructing women not to dress provocatively and to know when to say "no thanks," I feel like my uneasiness is legitimized. That, and many murders and disappearances involve strangers with cars, according to the many podcasts I listen to, stories I read, and documentaries I watch.
Whether you are a driver or hitching a ride, remember to be safe and "trust your gut!"
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