Pregnant Woman Stopped in Carpool Lane Says Unborn Child Should Count as Second Person, Sparks Debate

A pregnant woman stopped in a Texas HOV lane said that her baby counts as two people, so she should be allowed in the carpool lane.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Jun. 25 2023, Updated 12:30 p.m. ET

Pregnant Woman HOV Lane
Source: CBS

There are some experiences that are just universally frustrating. Waiting in traffic as you watch the seconds of your life slip away is one of them.

Recently, a pregnant woman made headlines combating this frustration — and also making a larger point — by using the HOV lane.

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The pregnant woman's reasoning for using the HOV lane is what has so many people talking.

Being stuck in your vehicle as you stare into the abyss during a 50-minute commute that should only take you 15 minutes is infuriating. So it's understandable (although not legal nor encouraged) that some folks skirt the rules of the road in order to try and minimize the amount of time they're sitting idle on the road.

Sometimes, they might even use a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane when they're technically not supposed to. Generally speaking, HOV lanes are reserved for vehicles with more than one occupant.

However, Brandy Bottone — who is pregnant — may have found a loophole thanks to Texas's penal code and the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Brandy was driving by herself in the HOV lane when she was pulled over and ticketed. However, she argued that she shouldn't be ticketed for using the carpool lane as, according to state law, she was rolling along the road with a baby on board who counts as a second person (according to Texas law).

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Pregnant Woman HOV Lane
Source: CBS

In an interview with CBS News, 34-year-old Brandy Bottone says that she intends to fight the ticket in court. Brandy was headed to pick up her 6-year-old son when she was pulled over in the HOV lane. She said that the officer "brushed [her] off" when she brought up the fact that she had a child inside of her body and referenced Roe v. Wade being overturned, according to Dallas Morning News.

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Source: Twitter | #BadrobotLinda

Brandy went on to say that the officer informed her that usage of the HOV lane necessitates "two persons or people outside the body" to be inside of the vehicle.

She says she told the officer that she wasn't attempting to make a political stance or anything, but the baby inside of her was indeed a living, kicking human being.

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Source: Twitter | @LoverlyLinda

"Not trying to make a political stance here, but you understand that this is a baby. It's 34 weeks along, and for sure, she's kicking and it's real life," Brandy remarked.

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The mom was fined $275 by the officer, but says she was told by the deputy that the citation would "probably get dismissed" anyway. "I was like, wait, you're telling me that you just wrote me a ticket for an HOV citation, and you're telling me that I can get it dismissed, but now ... I have to go to the courthouse, go fight it? And it's just, now you're wasting my time."

Source: Twitter | @jobinpnews
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As for what was going through her mind when she decided to take the HOV lane, Brandy added, "I see this as two people. The signs, if you drive downtown ... says 'HOV (2).' And I was like one, two, we're checkmarked. We're good. And I guess it just didn't fly that day." She went on to say that she feels safer driving in the carpool lane during heavy traffic.

Source: Twitter | @TribLIVE
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The mom told CBS that she'd previously driven in the HOV lane while pregnant in the past with her two other children but that this was the first time she'd ever been pulled over for doing so.

She also intends on fighting the ticket in court, as long as her child doesn't make her arrival in the meantime.

Source: Twitter | @DaveLieber
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"We're gonna go next Wednesday, pending I don't go into labor. So I really hope I don't."

Folks on social media are praising Brandy for her response, stating that the mom is an icon highlighting the hypocrisy of Roe v. Wade being overturned in the state of Texas.

Source: Twitter | @cour_styles
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Source: Twitter | @az738gdn

Another user astutely predicted that, "Unfortunately, Brandy Bottone’s name is going to be the answer to 'Why do pregnant people get to ride in the carpool lane?' and not 'What made the state of Texas come to its senses?' Prepare for some quality gymnastics as states everywhere prepare to fight logic with insanity."

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