Texas woman ticketed for driving in HOV lane gives birth to ‘second passenger’

PLANO, Texas — A Texas woman who was ticketed in late June for driving in a high-occupancy vehicle lane in Dallas despite arguing that her unborn baby should count as a second person has given birth.

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Brandy Bottone, 32, of Plano, posted the news of her daughter’s birth Saturday on her Instagram account.

“My second passenger has arrived,” Bottone wrote. “We are so in love and will be spending all our time loving on baby girl.”

Bottone said the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade meant that her fetus counted as a passenger as she drove in the HOV lane of Dallas’ Central Expressway on June 29, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Bottone was driving on U.S. 75 toward the Interstate 635 interchange on June 29 when she was stopped by Dallas County sheriff’s deputies looking for solo drivers in HOV lanes, according to the newspaper.

According to Texas law, in order to use HOV lanes, drivers must have at least one passenger in the vehicle, KXAS-TV reported.

The sheriff’s deputy who stopped Bottone at the checkpoint was unmoved by Bottone’s argument and wrote her a $215 ticket for driving alone in the HOV lane.

Bottone, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time of the checkpoint stop, said she was hurrying to pick up her son.

“I knew I couldn’t be a minute late, so I took the HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lane,” Bottone told the Morning News. “As I exited the HOV, there was a checkpoint at the end of the exit. I slammed on my brakes, and I was pulled over by police.”

Bottone then related the exchange between her and the deputy to the newspaper.

“An officer peeked in and asked, ‘Is there anybody else in the car?’

“I said, ‘Well, yes.’

“He asked, ‘Where?’

“I pointed to my stomach and said, ‘My baby girl is right here. She is a person.’

“He said, ‘Oh, no. It’s got to be two people outside of the body.’”

Bottone said she planned to fight the ticket during a July 20 traffic court hearing, but the proceedings were postponed. A new date has not been set.