Baby on board must be in car seat for HOV, not in mom

Houston Chronicle:

The woman in the silver Hyundai got a ticket for driving alone in an HOV lane, even though she was carrying a passenger.

She was pregnant, the woman told Metro Police officer Scott Ashmore, who had parked his motorcycle at the crest of the T-shaped ramp of the Northwest Freeway HOV lane at Dacoma.

For purposes of high-occupancy vehicle lane enforcement, babies in child seats count; those in utero don't.


Violators sometimes use imitation occupants. Although Ashmore didn't spot any during Tuesday's demonstration, he previously has found "four mannequins, one inflatable doll and lots of stuffed animals in baby seats," he said.

Lambert said drivers even have put knit caps on pillows in an effort to fool the officers.

The high occupancy vehicle lanes do save time on Houston's crowded freeways. In the future single occupancy vehicles will be permitted to pay a toll and use the lanes.


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