WSP: Driver caught using impressive dummy to evade fines while using HOV lanes

Jun 20, 2024, 6:43 AM | Updated: Jul 6, 2024, 4:04 pm

Image: A driver used a fake "dummy" passenger so he could drive in the HOV lane on I-405 in June 20...

A driver used a fake "dummy" passenger so he could drive in the HOV lane on I-405 in June 2024. (Photo courtesy of WSP Trooper Rick Johnson/@wspd2pio on X)

Despite using one of the more convincing dummies seen as of late, Washington State Patrol (WSP) ticketed a man for driving in a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane with a fake “dummy” passenger — a sight not too uncommon for patrol officers in the state.

On Wednesday, a WSP District 2 motorcycle trooper spotted an Acura on the highway with a dummy in the passenger seat of his car to use the HOV lane, stopping the driver on Interstate 405 (I-405) heading south near Interstate 90 (I-90).

According to WSP Trooper Rick Johnson, the driver said he had been using the dummy for a long time “due to carpooling being so screwed up.”

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The dummy can be seen adorned with glasses and a goatee while wearing a Columbia zip-up and appropriately wearing a seatbelt.

Drivers getting creative to use HOV lanes

Some Washington drivers have come up with unique ploys to avoid HOV citations. Last October, WSP pulled a driver over in an HOV lane when troopers discovered the driver’s passenger turned out to be a “creepy clown dummy.”

“Love the Halloween vibe, but still doesn’t count,” Johnson wrote on social media.

The stunt, while humorous to Johnson and other WSP troopers, added an extra fine to the infraction for improper use of the HOV lanes.

A month earlier, a driver was busted by WSP for dressing his passenger seat as a person. The seat was dressed up with a purple vest wrapped around the back, a red scarf and a white Halloween mask with blood splatter on it.

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Dummy stunt results in higher fines

The fine for a first HOV lane violation is $186. But if a doll or dummy is in the car, according to KIRO 7, an extra $200 is added to the fine.

Contributing: KIRO 7

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.


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WSP: Driver caught using impressive dummy to evade fines while using HOV lanes