Arizona man stopped in carpool lane with mannequin passenger

A HOV violation in Arizona can cost $400 and 3 points on your license

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer

(Photo via Arizona Dept. of Public Safety)

We’ve all been there: you’ve overslept and you’re scrambling to get work on time. To make matters worse, it’s the morning rush hour and there’s an endless sea of brake lights in front of you.

So, what do you do?

Well, if you’re prepared for anything and have no regard for the rules of the road, you might consider digging around in your backseat for a fully-dressed mannequin – and hopping into the carpool lane. 

That’s exactly what an Arizona man was caught doing Wednesday. The Department of Public Safety tweeted photos showing a man pulled over in the HOV lane with a plastic passenger riding shotgun.

“Another one busted! Don’t let this be you…. A driver was cited for HOV lane violation along the SR 202 at Alma School, for having a dummy masquerade as a passenger,” the agency warned drivers.

This all might sound hilarious. But before you get any ideas, you should know that the penalties for such violations are no joke. In fact, in Arizona it’ll cost you a $400 fine and three points on your license.

Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, depending on your faith in humanity), dummy passengers aren’t exactly rare out west. “It’s a common problem here,” said Bart Graves, spokesman for the Arizona DPS.

Graves said one trooper recently recalled how he’s stopped the same man three different times with the same dummy. That’s why the agency is pushing for people to know the law – and the punishment.

“If you get caught, it’s going to cost you,” Graves said.

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