Woman cited for HOV violation says fetus counts as 2nd person

2022-08-20 23:51:22 By : Ms. Lorna Guo

A pregnant woman who received a ticket for driving alone in a carpool lane in Texas said that her unborn child should count as a passenger.

Brandy Bottone, of Plano, Texas, was recently driving down Central Expressway approaching the exit for I-635 when she was stopped by an officer checking for high-occupancy-vehicle lane compliance.

By law, HOV lanes have restrictions to encourage ridesharing and require drivers to have at least one passenger inside the vehicle, according to the Department of Transportation.

Brandy Bottone plans to fight her ticket in court.

‘I was driving to pick up my son. I knew I couldn’t be a minute late, so I took the HOV lane,” Bottone told the Dallas Morning News. “As I exited the HOV, there was a checkpoint at the end of the exit. I slammed on my brakes, and I was pulled over by police. An officer peeked in and asked, ‘Is there anybody else in the car?’”

Bottone, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time of the incident, said that there were two people in the car — only the passenger was her unborn baby.

“[The officer] starts peeking around. He’s like, ‘Is it just you?’ And I said, ‘No there’s two of us?’” she told NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. “And he said, ‘Well where’s the other person.’ And I went, ‘right here,’” pointing to her stomach.

Her reasoning didn’t seem to convince the officer, but she argued that with the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, her fetus should count as a person.

“I said, ‘Well (I’m) not trying to throw a political mix here, but with everything going on this counts as a baby,’” she recalls telling the officer.

That still didn’t work. Bottone was still issued a $275 ticket — but she says she will fight it in court.

“I really don’t think it’s right because one law is saying it one way but another law is saying it another way,” she said.

Bottone is expected to appear in court on July 20 — which is around the same time as her due date.

Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News

Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News