CHOKEPOINTS

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.”

More Chokepoints: Pierce County’s Spanaway Loop shortcut to close for four months

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.

‘My dog identifies as a person:’ Excuses pile up as WSP increases HOV patrols

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.

Chokepoints

I-405 85th Street...

Chris Sullivan

Kirkland to be cut in half this weekend due to I-405/NE 85th Street Interchange

Sound Transit's new Bus Rapid Transit line on I-405 includes a new direct access ramp and bus stop in the middle of the freeway at 85th Street.

6 hours ago

Image: The Easy Fire burns in the North Cascades on Thursday, July 18, 2024....

Bill Kaczaraba

North Cascades Highway near Diablo Lake reopens after wildfire caused closure

A wildfire has forced the closure of State Route 20/the North Cascades Highway west between mileposts 148 and 158.

5 days ago

Image: Red and white reflective stripes are being added to Washington State Department of Transport...

Chris Sullivan

Going green isn’t what you think when it comes to WSDOT safety

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is tired of people plowing into trucks and is taking a green approach.

5 days ago

Photo: Traffic on I-5....

Micki Gamez

Prepare for traffic: Sound Transit to close lane of I-5 south

Washington has two seasons: winter and construction. Sound Transit is going to close one lane on I-5 south.

6 days ago

ballard closures...

Chris Sullivan

Sullivan: Closures are clogging Ballard, and will be for next two months

Getting through Ballard along 15th Avenue Northwest can be hard enough as it is, and that was before the closures.

7 days ago

I-405 multi-car collision...

Frank Sumrall

Multiple lanes on I-405 North closed near Bellevue due to multi-car collision

Multiple lanes on Interstate 405 (I-405) heading north are closed near Coal Creek Parkway after a multi-car collision.

7 days ago

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