Even though it is illegal, the concept of rushing through the HOV lane to get somewhere faster even if you’re alone is not new. When you think you have a passenger, the police disagree.
That happened to a pregnant Texas woman. She argued that her fetus should count as a passenger because she was served a ticket.
Brandy was stopped at an HOV checkpoint on the Central Expressway in Texas. You need at least two people in the car to ride in the HOV lane.
The sheriff asked, “Is it just you or is someone else riding with you?”
Bottone said, “Oh, there’s two of us.” When the sheriff asked where she pointed to her stomach. “My baby girl is right here.”
The state’s penal code states that a fetus is a person while the transportation code does not.
That wasn’t fair to Bottone.
“One officer kind of brushed me off when I mentioned this is a living child, according to everything that’s going on with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. ‘So I don’t know why you’re not seeing that,’ I said,” she told Dallas Morning News.
She issued the ticket in the end.
She plans to fight it.
Chad Ruback, an appellate lawyer in Dallas, told The Washington Post, “I find her argument creative, but I don’t believe based on the current itineration of Texas Transportation Code that her argument would likely succeed in front of an appellate court.”
A victory is still on the table.
“That being said, it’s entirely possible she could find a trial court judge who would award her for her creativity,” Ruback continued.
“This is a very unique situation in American jurisprudence.”
She has politicians on her side.
Unborn babies are persons (meaning they’re also passengers), and should be treated accordingly under Texas laws. Will introduce legislation to clarify this. Brandy, keep fighting that ticket! #txlege https://t.co/ibs7cZl4vd
— Brian Harrison (@brianeharrison) July 10, 2022
Texas state Representative Brian Harrison tweeted in support of her, saying, “Unborn babies are persons […] and should be treated accordingly under Texas laws,” even saying he’ll introduce legislation to confirm this.
There is a public fight ahead of her, but she may cause some real law changes to be made.