In November I pointed
to a story about a woman who got ticketed for a carpool lane violation. She claimed that she did have two people in the car because she was pregnant. She challenged the ticket, and now we learn that she's lost:
Unborn children don't count when it comes to carpool lanes, according to a judge's ruling.
Even after being fined $367 for improper use of a High Occupancy Vehicle lane, Ahwatukee Foothills resident Candace Dickinson stood by her contention that Arizona traffic laws don't define what a person is, so the child inside her womb justified her use of the lane.
"To follow her philosophy would require officers to carry guns, radios and pregnancy testers, and I don't think we want to go there," said Sgt. Dave Norton, the Phoenix police officer who cited Dickinson on Nov. 8.
I get the pregnancy tester part, but guns and radios? Don't cops already carry those? The confusion continues:
The case set off a firestorm of opinion but Phoenix Municipal Court Judge Dennis Freeman used a "common sense" definition in which an individual occupies a "separate and distinct" space in a vehicle.
"The law is meant to fill empty space in a vehicle," Freeman said.
Not exactly. Carpool lanes were supposed to take cars off the road by increasing vehicle occupancies. But as Bob Poole and I note in this study
, carpools just aren't very good at doing this.
One other bit of confusion. In the original article
from November Dickinson mentioned that her unborn child was in her stomach