I live 50km off the Highway of Tears so named for the women and girls that have gone missing on this stretch of road.
There is no public transportation from Prince Rupert to Prince George, about 640km or 360miles. There are several small communities between the two Princes but no linking public transportation.
The Greyhound bus does travel that route twice a day and recently Northern Health has started operating a bus for those needing to go for medical treatment. It is a vast area with a low population, compared to the lower mainland of British Columbia, and a vehicle is an absolute necessity, one simply can't go anywhere without one unless you go by thumb.
We do not pick up anyone, unfortunately it goes both ways, those that are out to do harm can be either the hitch hiker or the driver. It is not surprising that many do hitch hike, it is almost a necessity to do so but what a terrible risk they take.
When we first moved up here my husband told me, in passing, that he had picked up a girl and driven her to her village as it was on his way. Usually we always travel together. I ripped into him, poor man, I told him off thoroughly, he could have had his reputation torn to shreds if she had wanted to cause trouble and tell lies. I made him promise never to do that again. His reasoning was that he was worried the wrong sort might pick her up and she'd come to harm.
One of the men in the village stopped last year to pick up a hitch hiker and a logging truck veered coming down the hill, the hitch hiker was killed. An unfortunate accident, stopping on the highway is dangerous.
A friend of ours has a brother, a great strapping man, who on seeing a couple who looked like they were having car trouble pulled over to help. He ended up with a knife wound, stuffed into that car's trunk while the couple made off with his truck.
I am afraid I will pass you if I see you on the highway, our society has made it unwise for me to be a Good Samaritan. Maybe society has always been the same we just hear about it more often now.
I can't imagine the pain these parents who have lost a child this way must feel, my heart goes out to each and every one of them.
Highway of Tears Website