I’ve just found out what I want this blog to be.
After writing about my trip to the US (which I never finished, I still have got so many stories to share!) I figured out I could write here about all my trips. Following week I’m moving to London. For the first time I’m gonna live (not only travel around) abroad. That’s my topic.
But first… let me present some of my US stories for you!
source: http://www.facebook.com/theustour – “Hitch-hiking USA”
So… it’s debatable if one can legally hitch-hike in the state of Nevada and personally I wouldn’t recommend it. To explain why, I have to start with the very basic: how the Americans see hitchhikers?
After the hippie movement collapsed and the people of freedom turned into drug addicts, psychos or just grew up and stopped doing those things (luckily not everybody, I’m talking about the mass movement!!!), let’s say some time in the 70s? 80s?, people started raising their children with the rule of „never picking up a hitchhiker”. 40 years later you hardly ever see people trying to catch a ride on the shoulder unless they’re homeless or they car broke down. No wonder the American society connects hitching directly with being a catchy bum and the world of capitalism (the one we’ve developed) doesn’t like those.
Nevada, especially southern, where no one really goes anywhere which is not Las Vegas (Clark county is where over a half of the states population lives) is not the best place for being homeless and it’s not only for the weather conditions. Obviously the county doesn’t like anything which is not shiny, glowy, wax or expensive. The importance of Las Vegas being attractive is so big that in 2013 the City of San Francisco filled a lawsuit against Nevada for discharging psychiatric hostpital patients too early and busing them to SF (called ‘patient dumping’ afterwards).
The law over hitching in Nevada says: A person shall not stand in a highway to solicit a ride or any business from the driver or any occupant of a vehicle (NRS 484B.297 – 3) and defines ‘highway’ as the entire width between the boundary lines of every way dedicated to a public authority when any part of the way is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic, whether or not the public authority is maintaining the way ( NRS 484A.095 ) which means that it can be interpreted by the police. On the other hand pedestrians are allowed on most of the highways, however facing the approaching traffic meaning walking down the left side of the road – it doesn’t help with catching a ride.
Las Vegas City Ordinance is: No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle (11.30.110– Solicitation from roadway; 1949 code Ch. 36 § 96(c): prior code § 10-16-9(A)) and though e.g. Hitchwiki says it should be legal to stick your thumb out on a shoulder, the code defines roadway as that portion of a street improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel (13.24.010 Definitions). Again – it’s not clear… would be, if ‘exclusive of the berm or shoulder’ stood there as in most of the states road codes. As it doesn’t, it’s up to the police how to intreprete the law, so the question is: would you trust a cop, taking care of the city which buses homeless with mental issues to SF only to have their streets clean, that he wouldn’t inprison or fine you for trying to solicit a ride which is, in the US, seen as being a bum?
PS it’s different for a girl, especially attractive one: a huge part of society changes their mind and they don’t see a hobo, they see a crazy-girl-hitchhiker which is obviously more positive 😉