Update:

Provincial and Territorial laws in Canada differ greatly with respect to their laws on hitchhiking. This post only cites Provincial and Territorial laws and not laws passed by the numerous Municipalities across the country. Municipalities have the opportunity to prevent pedestrians from going onto specific highways or hitchhiking within the Municipalitie’s boundaries.

Hitchhiking is prohibited on Canada’s major highways.

Here is each Province’s and Territory’s laws with respect to hitchhiking:

Alberta – Traffic Safety Act

“pedestrian” means a person afoot or a person in a wheelchair;

There are no laws that specifically prohibit pedestrians from hitchhiking.

British Columbia – Motor Vehicle Act

Municipal powers

124 (1) The council of a municipality may, by bylaw not inconsistent with or derogatory to this Part, provide for the following: (n) the regulation or prohibition of pedestrian traffic on highways other than at crosswalks;

Pedestrian walking along highway

section 182

If there is a sidewalk that is reasonably passable on either or both sides of a highway, a pedestrian must not walk on a roadway.

(2) If there is no sidewalk, a pedestrian walking along or on a highway must walk only on the extreme left side of the roadway or the shoulder of the highway, facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction.

(3) A person must not be on a roadway to solicit a ride, employment or business from an occupant of a vehicle.

(4) Except for a person who solicits a ride in an emergency situation, a person who contravenes this section commits an offence.

Schedule 1 highways restrictions: (see Reg.26/58 includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 236/2009, Nov. 15/09):

19.07 (1)  Except as authorized by a permit issued by the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and except for crossing a highway at an intersection, use of any highway named in Schedule 1 by the following is prohibited at all times:

(a) vehicles drawn by animals;

(b) livestock, as defined in the Livestock Act;

(c) farm implements and farm machinery, whether self-propelled or towed;

(d) pedestrians, unless attending a disabled vehicle;

(e) vehicles incapable of maintaining a minimum speed of 60 km/h on level road, except construction or maintenance equipment owned or hired by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure while working on or travelling to or from a worksite located on a highway named in Schedule 1.

(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to pedestrians and to operators of pedal cycles and limited speed motorcycles using footpaths constructed adjacent to the travel portion of the highway or the shoulder on the travel portion of the highway where the minister causes signs to be erected designating the footpath or shoulder for such permitted use.

[en. B.C. Reg. 68/71, s. 5; am. B.C. Regs. 343/77; 171/85, s. 1; 112/86, s. 1; 133/89, s. 2.]
Under this same section (19.07), the specific highways that pedestrians are prohibited from entering, can be found.

Fail to use sidewalk                       section 182(1)    Fine -$109.00
Fail to walk on left facing traffic section 182(2) Fine -$109.00
Hitchhike or solicit on roadway section 182(3) Fine -$109.00

Manitoba: Highway Traffic Act

The Act does not appear to prohibit the act of hitchhiking, however, the Act does contain language which would allow a peace officer to issue a ticket, in the event that hitchhiking is prohibited by a by-law which has been adopted by the various municipalities in Manitoba.

Enforcement of compliance with by-laws by pedestrians

144  Notwithstanding anything in this Part, the council of any municipality may, by by-law, provide

(a) that where a peace officer has reasonable and probable grounds for believing that a pedestrian has committed or is committing a breach of those provisions of a by-law that relate to pedestrian traffic, he may require the pedestrian to stop and there and then to state correctly his name and address, and to prove his identity to the satisfaction of the peace officer; and

(b) that, if a pedestrian refuses or fails to stop and state correctly his name and address or so to prove his identity when so required, the peace officer may arrest him without warrant.

Newfoundland & Labrador: Highway Traffic Act

Pedestrians to use sidewalks

128. (1) Where there is a sidewalk that is reasonably passable on either or both sides of a highway, a pedestrian shall not walk on a roadway.

(2) Where there is no sidewalk, a pedestrian walking along or upon a roadway or the shoulder of a highway shall, where practicable walk only on the left side of the roadway or the shoulder of the highway facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction and no more than 2 persons shall walk abreast on the roadway.

(3) A person shall not be on a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment or business from the occupant of a vehicle. 1988 c33 s127

Schedule

Penalties

Penalty
Section and

subsection

or paragraph

Offence A fine of not

more than

the dollar

amounts specified

In default of

payment  of fine for

no longer or shorter

than time specified

Max. Min. Max. Min.
128(1) Walking on roadway when sidewalks provided 180 25 6 days 1 day
128(2) Walking on wrong side of highway 180 25 6 days 1 day
128(3) Standing on roadway to solicit rides, etc. 180 25 6 days 1 day

New Brunswick: Motor Vehicle Act

174 (3) No person shall be on a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment or business from an occupant of a vehicle. 1955, c.13, s.156; 1960, c.53, s.29; 1987, c.38, s.10.

Northwest Territories Motor Vehicles Act

There is nothing directly on point. The only language that appears, is a clause that refers to soliciting employment or business, not soliciting a ride.

Soliciting employment or business.

257. No pedestrian shall be on a roadway for the purpose of soliciting employment or business with an occupant of a vehicle using the roadway.

Nova Scotia: Motor Vehicle Act – Section 128 (1) & (2)

Standing in roadway to hitch-hike or board streetcar

128 (1) It shall be an offence for a person to stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of a private vehicle.

(2) It shall be an offence for a person about to board a street car to stand upon the roadway either within or without a crosswalk except when a safety zone has been established, until the street car which he is about to board has been brought to a standstill. R.S., c. 293, s. 128.

Category A offences

292 Any person who violates any of the provisions of Section 14, 18, 30, 31, 34, 35 or 58, subsection (3) of Section 71, subsection (2) of Section 78, Section 95, 127, 128, 143, 144, 146, 148, 149, 151, 155 or 156, subsection (1) of Section 158 or Section 159, 160, 162, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170A, 171, 172, 177, 182 or 183 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to the penalties provided for a category A offence in the Summary Proceedings Act. 2002, c. 10, s. 20; 2005, c. 8, s. 9; 2007, c. 20, s. 8.

Category “A” offence in the Summary Proceedings Act:

Category A -  Offence          Out of Court Settlement

first offence                               $138.96

second offence                           $167.71

third or subsequent offence   $225.21

Nunavut - Motor Vehicles Act, R.S.N.W.T.

There is nothing directly on point. The only language that appears, is a clause that refers to
soliciting employment or business, not soliciting a ride.

Soliciting employment or business.

257. No pedestrian shall be on a roadway for the purpose of soliciting employment or business with an occupant of a vehicle using the roadway.

Ontario: Section 177 (1) of the Highway Traffic Act

As a pedestrian, in Ontario, you cannot enter any of the 400 series highways or the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) (see R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 627 USE OF CONTROLLED-ACCESS HIGHWAYS BY PEDESTRIANS )

Soliciting rides or business from drivers

Soliciting rides prohibited

177. (1) No person, while on the roadway, shall solicit a ride from the driver of a motor vehicle other than a public passenger conveyance. 1999, c. 8, s. 7 (1).

Section 1. (1) “roadway” means the part of the highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, but does not include the shoulder, and, where a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” refers to any one roadway separately and not to all of the roadways collectively; (“chaussée”)

You are allowed to hitchhike in Ontario, as long as you are not “on the roadway” (as s.177 (1) specifically makes reference to). The 400 series highways (ie.401,403,409, 410 etc.) restricts any pedestrians from entering it.  If, as a pedestrian you attempt to go on the highway to hitch a ride, expect an officer to pull over and remove you, which is their right under section 185 (3) of the H.T.A. See Use of Controlled-access Highways by Pedestrians, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 627

Penalty: See the Ontario Court of Justice Schedule 43Highway Traffic Act

ITEM  512 -  Solicit A Ride  – Section 177 (1)  – Fine $50.00

Prince Edward Island: Section 193 (1),(2) & (3) of the Highway Traffic Act

Walking on roadway when sidewalk provided
(1) Where there is a sidewalk that is reasonably passable on either or both sides of a highway, a pedestrian shall not walk on a roadway.

Walking on wrong side of road
(2) Where there is no sidewalk, a pedestrian walking along or upon a roadway or the shoulder thereof shall when practicable walk only on the left side of the roadway or the shoulder of the highway facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction and no more than two persons shall walk abreast on the roadway.

Standing on roadway to solicit rides, etc.
(3) No person shall be on a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a
ride, employment or business from the occupant of a vehicle. R.S.P.E.I. 1974, Cap. H-6, s.178.

Violation of any section or subsection above -Maximum Fine=$100.00, Minimum Fine=$50.00

QuebecHighway Safety Code:

Standing on roadway.

448. No pedestrian may stand on the roadway to solicit transportation or to deal with the occupant of a vehicle.  1986, c. 91, s. 448.

449. No pedestrian may solicit transportation where passing is prohibited.

Offence and penalty.

505. Every pedestrian who contravenes any of sections 444 to 453.1 is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of $15  to $30.     1986, c. 91, s. 449 & 505; 1990, c. 4, s. 212; 1990, c. 83, s. 181.

Saskatchewan -  Highway Traffic Act

There are no laws that specifically prohibit pedestrians from hitchhiking.


Yukon Territory – Motor Vehicle Act

There are no laws that specifically prohibit pedestrians from hitchhiking.


In Tibet - Two Canadian men who were hitchhiking, were stopped by authorities and were fined $ 500.00 Yuan (or $77.00 Canadian dollars) each for hitchhiking without permits.

Update: April 19, 2010 – U of T students believe walkway in the air could save lives of pedestrians.

Update: January 11, 2011 – Newfoundland & Labardor – Hitchhiking is illegal; Officer encourages motorists to keep driving

3 Responses to “Hitchhiking in Canada”
  1. amaz says:

    [...]Hitchhiking in Canada[...]…

  2. joe says:

    who the hell is dictating where i can and cant hitch hike? next it will be illegal to talk to people

  3.  
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