Pregnant Texas woman who claimed unborn baby counts as a passenger in the HOV lane was ticketed again

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

A pregnant Texas woman who received a ticket in June - that was subsequently dismissed - for driving in a high occupancy vehicle lane received another ticket for the same offense, NBC News reports.

Brandy Bottone from Plano, Texas, made headlines after an incident which saw her stopped at a sheriff's checkpoint and ticketed for driving in the high occupancy vehicle lane. Per Texas' transportation code, there must be more than one person in a vehicle in order to use the lane.

Bottone, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, told CBS-DFW she only entered the HOV lane because she was in a rush to pick up her son, recounting: "I noticed it was getting congested, and it's right where I can hop on the HOV.

Bottone later said to NBC-Dallas Fort Worth: "[The officer] starts peeking around. He's like, 'Is it just you?' And I said, 'No there's two of us?' And he said, 'Well where's the other person?' And I went, 'right here,' pointing to her stomach."

But that didn't count, according to the police officer who pulled her over - as he believed that Bottone would require two people outside the body to meet the requirements of the HOV lane, per CBS-DFW.

"And then I said, 'Well [I'm] not trying to throw a political mix here, but with everything going on [with Roe v. Wade], this counts as a baby,'" Bottone allegedly told the officer.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade in June this year triggered multiple states across the USA to enact stricter laws on women's right to abortion. At the time, Texas' penal code recognized an unborn baby as a person, stating the definition of a person as: "A human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth."

The 32-year-old used this argument in defense of her $275 ticket. This is when the law became confusing - while the Texas penal code evidently recognizes a fetus as a person, the state's transportation laws don't.

However, after taking the matter to a court, Bottone was able to receive a dismissal for the ticket. Now, though, it seems Bottone has received a second ticket for the same offence - apparently around a month after the original ticket.

In a statement to NBC News, an attorney's representative for the Dallas County District said: "Yes, Ms. Bottone's HOV case was dismissed. The defendant received a second HOV citation about a month after the first. This second citation is currently pending."

Bottone told TODAY that she was issued the second ticket "the day before I went into labor on August 3. I was using the same route that I did previously and they had another checkpoint set up."

"I was going to pick up my son from his father's house and they had a checkpoint set up," the mom told TODAY. "I was pulled aside and asked the same question. I stated, 'Yes, right here,'" she said, referring to her belly.

"I hope that someone in a higher political position than me takes a stand on the issue of the laws not speaking together correctly and not projecting as a 'I want my cake and eat it too,'" she stated.

Featured image credit: Anze Bizjan / Alamy

Pregnant Texas woman who claimed unborn baby counts as a passenger in the HOV lane was ticketed again

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

A pregnant Texas woman who received a ticket in June - that was subsequently dismissed - for driving in a high occupancy vehicle lane received another ticket for the same offense, NBC News reports.

Brandy Bottone from Plano, Texas, made headlines after an incident which saw her stopped at a sheriff's checkpoint and ticketed for driving in the high occupancy vehicle lane. Per Texas' transportation code, there must be more than one person in a vehicle in order to use the lane.

Bottone, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, told CBS-DFW she only entered the HOV lane because she was in a rush to pick up her son, recounting: "I noticed it was getting congested, and it's right where I can hop on the HOV.

Bottone later said to NBC-Dallas Fort Worth: "[The officer] starts peeking around. He's like, 'Is it just you?' And I said, 'No there's two of us?' And he said, 'Well where's the other person?' And I went, 'right here,' pointing to her stomach."

But that didn't count, according to the police officer who pulled her over - as he believed that Bottone would require two people outside the body to meet the requirements of the HOV lane, per CBS-DFW.

"And then I said, 'Well [I'm] not trying to throw a political mix here, but with everything going on [with Roe v. Wade], this counts as a baby,'" Bottone allegedly told the officer.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade in June this year triggered multiple states across the USA to enact stricter laws on women's right to abortion. At the time, Texas' penal code recognized an unborn baby as a person, stating the definition of a person as: "A human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth."

The 32-year-old used this argument in defense of her $275 ticket. This is when the law became confusing - while the Texas penal code evidently recognizes a fetus as a person, the state's transportation laws don't.

However, after taking the matter to a court, Bottone was able to receive a dismissal for the ticket. Now, though, it seems Bottone has received a second ticket for the same offence - apparently around a month after the original ticket.

In a statement to NBC News, an attorney's representative for the Dallas County District said: "Yes, Ms. Bottone's HOV case was dismissed. The defendant received a second HOV citation about a month after the first. This second citation is currently pending."

Bottone told TODAY that she was issued the second ticket "the day before I went into labor on August 3. I was using the same route that I did previously and they had another checkpoint set up."

"I was going to pick up my son from his father's house and they had a checkpoint set up," the mom told TODAY. "I was pulled aside and asked the same question. I stated, 'Yes, right here,'" she said, referring to her belly.

"I hope that someone in a higher political position than me takes a stand on the issue of the laws not speaking together correctly and not projecting as a 'I want my cake and eat it too,'" she stated.

Featured image credit: Anze Bizjan / Alamy