I was scrolling through YouTube yesterday when this video popped up on my feed. Do you remember the viral sensation Kai the Hitchhiker? 10 years ago he would probably be considered the most famous hitchhiker of all time. During his travels, he helped save a woman who was being assaulted. This clip led to Kai's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. How fast the loved and famous can fall.

On January 10th Netflix released a documentary called "The Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker" about Kai as he is now serving 57 years in jail for murder.

I bring up Kai the Hitchhiker because after re-watching this viral interview clip, I began to wonder if are there rules hitchhikers have to follow. Is hitchhiking legal everywhere? Does anyone even hitchhike anymore, knowing how dangerous it can be? Sadly, a lot of serial killer stories involve picking up hitchhikers, which made me wonder if it's been banned anywhere.

Some people may remember a time when hitchhiking was pretty common and for the most part, was safe. Now, it would be extremely rare to see someone pick up a random person on the side of the road. In my 32 years of life, I've never seen this happen once. I don't even think I've ever seen someone walking along a highway sticking their thumb out.

Is Hitchhiking Legal In Iowa?

According to Legis Iowa, hitchhiking is legal, as long as you follow certain rules. Iowa Code 321.331 says,

1. No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of any private vehicle. 2. Nothing in this section or this chapter shall be construed so as to prevent any pedestrian from standing on that portion of the highway or roadway, not ordinarily.

Hitchhiking is legal in Iowa, as long as the person is off of the busy portion of the road. Someone could request a ride as long as they aren't standing in a lane to make the request.

If you ever catch me trying to hitchhike, something took a really bad turn in my life or something went really wrong. The only time you'll ever catch me trying to hitchhike is if I'm completely out of options. I'm talking about my legs don't work, my phone is lost, and I need a hospital to save my life. Those are the "out of options" I'm talking about. I'd rather walk a few miles than ride a few blocks with a stranger in their car. But hey, if you're ever in a situation like that, at least you don't have to worry about getting some kind of ticket...

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