MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A California driver seemed really desperate to get into the carpool lane. In an attempt to fulfill the multiple-passenger requirement, the driver thought they can get away with it thanks to a mannequin.
Not so fast.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) pulled over the driver in Marin County for using a mannequin (seen below) in an attempt to meet the requirement to drive in the carpool lane, the law enforcement agency explained on Facebook Thursday.
To the driver’s credit, an effort was made to make it look like a real person from afar. The tattooed mannequin, sporting a sun hat, sunglasses, and facial hair was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle.
“That moment you get pulled over for a carpool violation and your passenger in the back chooses to remain silent,” CHP Marin wrote in its social media post.
While creatively dressed, this isn’t the first carpool mannequin found in California.
A solo driver was stopped by CHP in February 2021 with a realistic mannequin masquerading as a passenger. The officer had suspicions about whether the “passenger” was a real person and pulled over the driver of the pickup truck for tinted windows, CHP told News 2’s sister station, KSWB, at the time.
The dummy — described as “the most realistic mannequin that we have ever seen,” by a CHP spokesperson — resembled an older man with facial wrinkles and gray hair. It was dressed in a red flannel shirt, a Cleveland Indians ball cap, reading glasses and even donned a face mask.
Last year, a pregnant woman in Texas received a ticket for driving in the high-occupancy lane (HOV) without a passenger. The woman argued the state’s anti-abortion laws meant her fetus counted as a person for HOV reasons. Her ticket was dismissed by the Dallas County District Attorney’s office, but she told The Dallas Morning News she received a second ticket for the same offense at the same location a month later.
KSWB’s Christy Simeral contributed to this report.