Gov. gives thumbs-up to hitchhiking in state
By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
February 28, 2013
Hitchhiking is no longer illegal in Wyoming.
During a ceremony Wednesday, Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill that tweaks state law to allow residents to hitch a ride. Mead’s signature brings Wyoming in line with a majority of states in allowing some form of hitchhiking.
The measure was shepherded through both houses of the Legislature by Alta Republican Sen. Leland Christensen. Addressing fellow senators last month, Christensen said the bill simply sought to allow people to ask for a ride or to give someone a ride.
The legislation was referred to as the “Free Choice for Free People” bill or “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” Others informally dubbed it the “Capt. Bob Bill.”
The changes eliminated a prohibition in state law against “soliciting a ride.” The existing statute still bans people from soliciting jobs, business or other contributions from passersby.
There was little opposition to the bill as it made its way through the House and Senate.
Christensen has said the prohibition on hitchhiking was outdated and put Wyoming in the minority of states that didn’t have some kind of provision allowing hitching.
The change in the law likely will please backcountry skiers trying to snag a ride up Teton Pass, and also Capt. Bob Morris, a longtime Teton County resident and sometime politician who has praised hitchhiking for its energy efficiency. Morris has been known to offer motorists $2 bills for a lift.