Is It Illegal to Hitchhike in New Jersey?
Need a lift, stranger?
If you ever find yourself along on a highway in need of a ride, what are your options? You could keep walking, but it's dangerous walking by a highway, and no one really wants to walk for miles and miles to get to their destination. Ubers can't stop and pick you up, and there are no public transport stops in a highway. The next option that pops up into your mind? Hitchhike.
Simply stand by the road and lift your thumb - the universal sign for "I need a lift."
Whenever I think about hitchhiking I think of Jenny from Forrest Gump. She made it look so cool and whimsical. The last time I watched the movie I wondered what that might be like. And then I think again about becoming the next subject of a true crime documentary on Netflix. Hitchhiking can be incredibly dangerous.
Well if you've ever been curious about hitchhiking because maybe you're not afraid of being snatched up by a serial killer, here's some advice. Don't do it.
Because, yes. It is illegal to hitchhike in New Jersey.
According to HitchWiki:
"39:4-5, Begging rides prohibited. No person shall stand in a highway for the purpose of or while soliciting a ride from the operator of any vehicle other than an omnibus or a street car. A highway is defined as any way between the boundary lines open for the public use. This includes on-ramps and shoulders."
However, it's not illegal in every state. Hitchhiking is legal in 44 states, including Texas, California, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, Wyoming, Virginia, Minnesota, Georgia, Washington, and Utah, to name some.
I could see how some might argue that outlawing hitchhiking could be an infringement on one's basic freedoms. For world travelers and nomads, hitchhiking might be the most economical option. Do you think hitchhiking should be illegal in New Jersey?