RCMP have issued a number of safety tips for hitchhikers after a man was hit by a vehicle on the Trans Canada Highway in North Cowichan last week.
Officers responded to a hit-and-run at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, January 29th at the intersection of Trans Canada Highway and Drinkwater Road in North Cowichan.
The man who was hit was a hitchhiker, and had to be transported to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Police are searching for the vehicle involved and its occupants, the driver and one passenger. It is described as a newer silver Chevrolet quad cab truck believed to have had chrome wheels and the word ‘Nanaimo’ on the back window.
While officers continue to search for these individuals and any witnesses, they also discourage travellers from hitchhiking.
However for those who feel hitchhiking is their only option, authorities have issued the following safety advice:
- Wear bright or reflective clothing,
- Have a cell phone charged and ready to use,
- Make sure others are aware of your plans to hitchhike,
- Have a backup in case a ride doesn’t materialize, and
- Be in a safe place off the road, as it is illegal to solicit a ride while on the part of the road designated for vehicles.
“Our first priority is safety. Hitchhikers and drivers should both consider their surroundings and their safety when making decisions on the roads,” says Cst. Matt Osborne.
“Hitchhikers should wait in a well-lit area with a shoulder or pull-out, and drivers who pick them up need to find a way to do it without endangering others on the roads.”
Any witnesses to the aforementioned incident is asked to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at (250) 748-5522, or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous.