Proposed bill would change state's transportation code, allow pregnant women on HOV lane alone

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Thursday, November 17, 2022
Texas Republican proposes bill to allow pregnant women in HOV lane
Does a fetus count in the HOV lane? That's what State Rep. Briscoe Cain is fighting for after a pregnant Dallas woman's story went viral.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Texas lawmaker has filed a bill to let pregnant women drive solo in HOV lanes.

The proposed bill by State Representative Briscoe Cain would amend the state's current transportation code and allow pregnant women access to the lanes without an extra passenger.

It comes after a pregnant woman, Brandy Bottone, in North Texas challenged her HOV lane violation earlier this year after receiving a $275 ticket.

Bottone claimed that her fetus should be considered an extra passenger.

SEE RELATED STORY: Texas mother argues unborn baby should count as passenger in HOV after ticket violation

Her story is one that sparked debate on both sides with words like "hero," "clever," and "brilliant" being used by some to describe her argument and others pointing to loopholes opening up as a side effect of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

On June 29, when Bottone was 34 weeks pregnant, she hopped on the HOV lane in Dallas County and got stopped by a Texas DPS officer. According to the rules on the Texas Department of Transportation page, the HOV lane is for a vehicle occupied by two or more people or a motorcyclist.

The former was Bottone's argument -- that her unborn child should count as a passenger.

She also told The Dallas Morning News that she doesn't believe the state should have it both ways as the Texas penal code recognizes an unborn child as a person, but the state's transportation code doesn't specify.

When the officer pulled her over, he asked who else was with her.

"'Uh, this!'" Bottone said, pointing to her belly. "I was like, 'Right here, here she is.' He just looked at me, 'How do I answer this?'"