Pregnant Texas woman cited for driving alone in HOV lane, claims unborn child counts as second passenger

A pregnant Texas woman got a traffic ticket for driving alone in the HOV lane. Now she’s fighting against the citation, claiming her unborn child should count as a second passenger. 

According to NBC DFW, Brandy Bottone, of Plano, was pulled over at a sheriff’s checkpoint last month after driving in the High-Occupancy Vehicle lane by herself 

Per state law, a vehicle that is traveling in an HOV lane must be a motorcycle or have two or more occupants. Single drivers are not allowed to utilize the lane. 

Bottone spoke out on the incident to NBC DFW, claiming that when she was stopped, an officer searched her car for another passenger. 

“He’s like, ‘Is it just you?’ And I said, ‘No, there’s two of us?” she said to the officer, according to NBC DFW. “And he said, ‘Well, where’s the other person?’” 

Bottone, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, then gestured toward her stomach and said, “Right here.” 

But, the officer told her the unborn child doesn’t count as a second passenger, NBC DFW reports. 

According to the Texas penal code, an unborn child is considered a person “at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”