Worth it?

Despite the dangers, hitchhiking continues in northwestern BC

THE SIGNS, one opposite the Chevron in Thornhill and the other just west of Kitsumkalum, contain the starkest of messages: “Hitchhiking. Is It Worth The Risk?”

To one young lady at 12:30 p.m. Christmas Eve near Kispiox and to another woman during the mid afternoon of Jan. 26 just south of Terrace on Hwy37 it was worth the risk.

And both then had terrifying experiences resulting in the police now looking for the male driver of a red van in the Kispiox incident and three men in a white pick up in the Hwy37 incident.

Which then begs the question – why did these two people make the obviously bad choice of standing on the side of a northern highway.

Each answer will be different but each will involve a series of events resulting in the calculated conclusion that each had to get from Point A to Point B at that particular time, leaving them no option but to hitch a ride.

A 2006 symposium organized in response to the murdered and missing women along Hwy16 issued a number of recommendations, one of which was to operate a female passenger-focused shuttle service of seven buses along the highway.

Would this service have deterred these two individuals? Impossible to say. But certainly it will be the kind  of question the province will face now that it has renewed its commitment to examine those symposium recommendations.



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