hitchhiking bill passes

By Jim Stanford on February 22, 2013

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Sen. Christensen at the Capitol last month.

A bill that would legalize hitchhiking in Wyoming has passed both chambers of the state Legislature and awaits Gov. Matt Mead’s signature to become law.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Leland Christensen, R-Alta, passed final reading in the House today by a 52-6 vote. Earlier the Senate voted 29-1 to approve it.

“It is never over till the ink is dry,” Christensen wrote in an email. “I have my fingers crossed.”

The bill would remove language from state law prohibiting people from being on a highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride. If signed by the governor, the law would take effect July 1.

Reached at his home in Teton Village, Capt. Bob Morris, a longtime advocate of ride sharing, hailed the bill’s passage. “Hurray, that’s terrific news,” Morris said. “It should have happened decades ago.”

Morris said he did not plan to attend a prospective bill signing, even if he could hitch to Cheyenne.

Also expected to rejoice, if the governor approves the legislation: backcountry skiers on Teton Pass, rafters in the Snake canyon, and the mountain man Gator.

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Posted under Crime, Politics, Wyoming, Wyoming Legislature

9 Comments so far

  1. Kevin P. February 23, 2013 11:49 am

    Does this mean Capt. Bob won’t leave me money on the dashboard anymore?!

  2. AJ February 23, 2013 4:09 pm

    wow

  3. Earl February 26, 2013 5:06 pm

    Kevin: Any time I give Capt. Bob a ride it’s an education. I feel like I should pay him.

  4. Jim Stanford February 27, 2013 5:11 pm

    Gov. Mead signed the bill in a formal ceremony today in Cheyenne. It takes effect July 1. Fewer hassles for backpackers in GTNP, backcountry skiers, river shuttles, everyone looking to share a ride!

  5. Tim Shey February 28, 2013 9:42 am

    Great news! Wyoming is such a great state!

  6. Shannon McCormick March 2, 2013 12:45 pm

    Right on, Leland. Nice work.

  7. PC March 6, 2013 3:49 pm

    Jim,

    You mention GTNP, do you know if this would apply to NPS managed lands?

  8. Jim Stanford March 6, 2013 4:56 pm

    Good question. It will apply on all state highways, I presume, including the outside GTNP road. I will have to inquire about the inside road and other routes.

    Update, from bill sponsor Sen. Leland Christensen, asked about federal lands:

    I think so. In an earlier conversation with YNP [Superintendent Dan Wenk] said they followed WY state law on guns, so it stands to reason they would on hitchhiking.

    (I have asked him about interstates, too.)

  9. Brad March 6, 2013 6:13 pm

    Not that it matters in the context we’re talking here (local convenience), but I bet it will still be illegal on interstate highways.

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