Crime Pregnant Texas Woman Cited for HOV Violation Told Cop Her Fetus Is the Passenger

tom_mai78101

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A pregnant Texas woman who got a ticket for driving alone in the car-pool lane plans to fight the citation, arguing her unborn baby should count as a second person.

The woman, Brandy Bottone, was headed to pick up her son when she was stopped at a sheriff’s checkpoint targeting HOV drivers breaking the rules. By law, in order to use the high-occupancy vehicle lanes, drivers must have at least one passenger in the vehicle.

"He starts peeking around. He's like, 'Is it just you?' And I said, 'No there's two of us?'” Bottone said. “And he said, 'Well where's the other person.' And I went, 'right here,'” pointing to her stomach.

At the time of the incident last month, she was 34 weeks pregnant.

Though Texas penal code recognizes an unborn child as a person, the state's transportation code doesn’t.

Bottone got a $275 ticket. She said she plans to fight the ticket in court.

Legal experts say it's an interesting discussion -- especially considering the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights.

"Different judges might treat this differently. This is unchartered territory we're in now,” said Dallas appellate lawyer Chad Ruback. "There is no Texas statute that says what to do in this situation. The Texas Transportation Code has not been amended recently to address this particular situation. Who knows? Maybe the legislature will in the next session."


 

Ghan

Administrator - Servers are fun
Staff member
What about conjoined twins? I imagine they don't have a statute to deal with that either.
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
She could always take it to the Texas Supreme Court and that argument might actually stand :)
 
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