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Ask A Trooper: Hitchhiking is a concern of safety

By Sgt. Troy Christianson

Question: Is it legal to hitchhike in Minnesota?

Answer: Minnesota State Statute 169.22 states “No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of any private vehicle.”  A roadway is defined as “a portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk or shoulder.”  If a pedestrian is off the roadway (shoulder or ditch) technically, they could solicit a ride from a person driving a motor vehicle.

It is important to mention that no pedestrian is allowed on or along the freeway (including the shoulder and ditch).

There is serious concern for pedestrian safety with vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed; along with the possibility of distracted and impaired drivers. In addition, picking up a hitchhiker carries a certain amount of risk. I believe you should use common sense and good judgment in these situations.  It comes down to these crucial factors – personal safety and traffic safety.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)

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