You just don't see hitchhikers like you used to. In my teens and 20's, hitchhiking was a normal form of transportation.  Just step out on the shoulder of the road and stick your thumb out and you were on your way. Granted, people were a lot more trusting back then.

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In the 70's, I used to drive back and forth to California. Every once in awhile I would pick up a hitchhiker if they didn't look too suspect.

One year there was a big news story about a hitchhiker that was killing and eating parts of the people that picked him up. So, I'm cruising along through New Mexico and I see this guy hitchhiking. I notice he's holding some kind of sign.  As I get closer I see the sign says "I'm A Vegetarian".  I'm thinking, nice try.  That's exactly the sign I would use to lure in another victim.

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As far as the legality of hitchhiking in Minnesota, according to Minnesota State Statute 169.22 “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.”

Technically, if the hitchhiker is off the road, like on the shoulder it is legal to solicit a ride from there.  There is a exception to that as far as interstate highway or 4 lane freeways. According to Minnesota law, a freeway is a "divided highway with full control of access."

According to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson "There is a 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."

Have you ever hitchhiked?

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