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Cruising down the HOV lane of the Long Island Expressway can definitely cut down on commute time.
That is, except for when a 61-year-old Long Island driver was busted for using a life-size mannequin as her plus one in the passenger's seat.
According to the Associated Press, a sheriff's deputy noticed a "passenger" wearing sunglasses and a visor on a cloudy morning. After a closer look he saw that it was a life-size mannequin dressed in a long dark wig, blazer, shirt, scarf and sunglasses.
The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane is reserved for vehicles with more than one person travelling in them.
In general, the central concept for HOV lanes is to move more people rather than more cars. In most cases, if not all, pets, infants still in the womb, inflatable dolls or ghosts do not count as passengers.
The 61-year-old driver was issued a ticket that carries a $135 fine.
Over the years there have been several carpool/HOV lane scams. One of the most notable is Candace Dickinson, of Arizona, who was hoping to beat a ticket saying that her unborn baby was the second passenger in the car.
She was issued a $360 fine. Phoenix Municipal Court Judge Dennis Freeman used a "common sense" definition of the statutes governing the use of HOV lanes, under which an individual must occupy a "separate and distinct" space in a vehicle.
Another HOV scam involved an incident in California. Kevin Morgan and his kickboxing dummy he put in the passenger seat of his car. Morgan got a $351 citation.