Is it Legal to Hitchhike in Nevada?

Is it Legal to Hitchhike in Nevada?

The issue of hitchhiking in the state of Nevada has been a debatable one, whether or not you agree that standing on the side of the road or highway with your thumb out is the wisest thing to do. If there are no sidewalks available nearby, walking on an interstate or highway is perfectly legal in Nevada. The pedestrian in this scenario, however, must be walking in a direction that is facing traffic. Because Nevada’s law is open to interpretation by its law enforcement, it is not recommended that you hitchhike in front of police or state troopers. This is because you may still be arrested or issued a citation if you do so according to a Las Vegas personal injury attorney.

Nevada Law

Under NRS 484B.297, a person is not permitted to stand in a highway to solicit a car ride, or any other business, from the driver or any of the occupants of a vehicle. Likewise, it is prohibited for someone without a permit issued pursuant to NRS 244.3555 or 268.423 to solicit any monetary contribution from either the driver or his or her occupant. Likewise, pedestrians that are walking along the highways where there are no sidewalks provided must do so on the left side of the highways and face the approaching traffic.

State law defines a highway as the “entire width between the boundaries lines of every way dedicated to a public authority” when any portion of it is available for use by the public for vehicle traffic whether or not the public authority is maintaining the road. This vague definition results in a Nevada law enforcement officers being able to interpret the law to mean that if you are trying to get a ride within the boundary lines of any highway (i.e., a fence), even if you are as much as 10 feet off the side of the roadway, you are breaking Nevada law.

Las Vegas City Law

The city of Las Vegas also has a say on this issue. Specifically, the law notes that a person is prohibited from soliciting from the roadway and cannot stand in the roadway seeking a ride, business, or employment from an occupant of any vehicle. Under this law, “roadway” means the portion of a street that is improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicles to travel.

Hire a Nevada Attorney

In short, both Nevada state law and Las Vegas city law do not outright prohibit hitchhiking, but the way the laws are written, it is reasonable for local and state law enforcement to interpret hitchhiking as breaking these laws. Many people have been ticketed for hitchhiking along Nevada’s highways. If you or someone you know has any questions about this area of the law, or has any other legal questions, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Lawyers Plus today. With years of experience representing clients throughout Nevada, they can help preserve your rights under the law and guide you every step of the way.

(image courtesy of Atlas Green)

Zach Parry is an AV Rated attorney who loves to win. He was recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as a Top 40 Under 40 attorney and by Desert Companion Magazine as one of the top personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas.