A new safety poster is aiming to educate those who continue to hitchhike despite the dangers.
The RCMP and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) have partnered for a hitchhiking safety poster campaign in response to incidents of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the potential dangers of hitchhiking while encouraging certain safety measures.
The posters have safety tips for those who do choose to hitchhike, like letting someone know where you are going and when you expect to get there, carrying a mobile phone and identification, using heavily travelled roads and taking note of the description of anyone who offers a ride.
RCMP say the poster is designed to increase awareness of safety measures for individuals who choose to hitchhike, and isn’t meant to encourage it.
“The poster does not encourage hitchhiking but is designed to increase the awareness of safety measures for individuals who do hitchhike,” the RCMP said in a statement, noting that the act of hitchhiking itself is not a criminal code offence.
“This poster campaign speaks to the RCMP’s dedication to keeping individuals safe in communities throughout Canada, and to the Native Women’s Association of Canada ongoing work to prevent violence and increase the safety of aboriginal women and girls.”
Skeena-Bulkey Valley MP Nathan Cullen appreciates the effort.
“Anything that helps keep people safe on the highway, from affordable transportation to safety tips and more patrolling by the RCMP, I’m going to be all in favour of,” said Cullen.
“It’s just not safe on the highway and hasn’t been for a long time. We don’t want to see any more missing or murdered aboriginal women, and women in general.”