Earth > Americas > North America > United States of America > Idaho
The people of the state of Idaho are extremely friendly and most have no problem picking up hitchhikers. It is one of the most conservative states in the US however and in most areas outside of the capital Boise, many people will not pick up anyone who looks liberal, like a hippie or a punk. Zenit however has only had good experiences (in the Northern part), even hitchhiking in rural areas with a head full of dreadlocks. The same rules apply here as anywhere, be nice and courteous no matter how absurd the drivers opinions might be. Be aware that in the North, there is a number of Aryan Nation camps; while they are mostly tucked away in the woods you might still run into their members.
49-709 PEDESTRIANS SOLICITING RIDES OR BUSINESS.
(1) No person shall stand on a highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride.
(5) "Highways" mean roads, streets, alleys and bridges laid out or established for the public or dedicated or abandoned to the public. Highways shall include necessary culverts, sluices, drains, ditches, waterways, embankments, retaining walls, bridges, tunnels, grade separation structures, roadside improvements, adjacent lands or interests lawfully acquired, pedestrian facilities, and any other structures, works or fixtures incidental to the preservation or improvement of the highways. Roads laid out and recorded as highways, by order of a board of commissioners, and all roads used as such for a period of five (5) years, provided they shall have been worked and kept up at the expense of the public, or located and recorded by order of a board of commissioners, are highways.
Basically, hitchhiking is illegal based on the definition of highway. You CANNOT solicit rides from the shoulder or berm. It would be very hard to defend your position against an officer who claims you are breaking the law by soliciting a ride within the boundary lines of any road property, therefore avoid cops in this state at all costs! The cops in the southern two thirds of the state can be tricky to avoid. The cops in the northern third of the state (highway 12 and all points north) seem not to mind hitchhikers as much. Zenit was passed by a state trooper near Moscow, ID, without being hassled at all, while the Orofino city police (Highway 12) politely prohibited him from hitchhiking.
A loophole to this law might be the word stand. If you walk and hitchhike at the same time, you might be fine - but any cop is gonna hate your smart ass and the reaction of a judge is unpredictable as well.
Note:All land regulated by the National Park service prohibits hitchhiking under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 section 4.31: Hitchhiking or soliciting transportation is prohibited except in designated areas and under conditions established by the superintendent.
- Yellowstone National Park
- 36 CFR Hitchhiking or soliciting transportation shall be permitted within Yellowstone National Park except:
- withing two tenths of a mile of an entrance station.
- within 200 feet of a school, concession business or park service office building or visitor center.
- in a residential area where signs exist establishing the area as residential areas only and discouraging public traffic.
- while holding or having a sign which is larger than two feet by two feet in size.
- the hitchhiker must stay off the paved surface of the roadway, though a hitchhiker may stand on pavement if clearly in a paved pullout.
- where vehicles may not safely pull off of the main traffic lane
- during the hours of darkness unless the hitchhiker is wearing bright clothing.
- while under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating drugs.
- when hitchhiking behavior is deemed unsafe or a nuisance by Park Staff.
- Craters of the Moon National Preserve
4.31 has not been amended here, so hitchhiking is prohibited.
- People in northern Idaho are friendly and willing to pick up hitchhikers. The southern part is a different story. I have had many a long wait in southern Idaho and am not willing to hitchhike in southern Idaho anymore based on all the bad attention I was getting from state troopers; I feel I narrowly avoided arrest multiple times by feigning ignorance of the laws. Thewindandrain 02:04, 24 March 2012 (CET)
I used to live in Boise and have done my share of hitchhiking in Southern Idaho. Most wait times weren't bad. Once I had a state trooper near Nampa/Caldwell warn me I could get a $300 fine or 90 days in jail for hitchhiking and made me take a Greyhound bus back to Boise. On another trip a police officer in Boise simply told me not to hitchhike. He didn't threaten me or even check my ID. Those were my only two encounters with cops in the this state for hitchhiking. - Gilligan
"I've only ever hitched through on I-90 going west, at the northern tip of Idaho, but had a terrible experience. A complete meth-head picked me up who was smoking meth while we were driving (oh, I was driving instead of him because he had his license taken away), and later accused me of stealing things from him. Luckily I got away from him safely, but I would greatly advise caution when hitching in Coeur d'Alene, and don't be afraid to reject a ride if they seem sketchy." -Ned
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