Hitchhiking dangers highlighted

STANTHORPE police are urging residents and visitors to avoid hitchhiking and become aware of the dangers associated with it.

The summer months form the peak hitchhiking season around Queensland as populations swell in rural areas.

Stanthorpe Police Senior Constable Scott Armbruster said drivers and hitchhikers alike should think about the dangers before they pull over or stick out a thumb.

"You don't know who you're picking up and what they have in their possession or what their intentions are ... just do not do it," he said.

"There's a ticket for it (hitchhiking), but generally most officers are happy to give a warning, just to let them know it's illegal and dangerous - for obvious reasons - especially when you see one or two females doing it."

Although it's not illegal to pick up a hitchhiker, most people were smart enough to avoid stopping, he said. However, it was tempting for some drivers, especially during summer when there were so many backpackers in the area.

"I think most locals are aware of the dangers," he said.

"Around the Blue Topaz (caravan park), there're a hell of a lot of backpackers who walk into town on the highway edge and that's another issue.

"Some walk with their backs to traffic and can't see what's coming.

"It's advised to walk against the flow of traffic so you can see what's coming."

Stanthorpe Border Post

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