(WFLA) — A pregnant Texas woman who was ticketed for driving alone in a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane is fighting back by arguing her unborn child should count as a second person.
Brandy Bottone, of Plano, Texas, is putting a new twist on an old question — how to define a person?
Bottone was stopped at a checkpoint targeting drivers breaking the rules which require drivers traveling in the lane to have at least two occupants in the vehicle.
When Bottone was stopped, she told authorities she was 34 weeks pregnant at the time. The deputy told her it did not count.
“An officer peeked in and asked, ‘Is there anybody else in the car?’,” Bottone told the Dallas Morning News. She then pointed to her stomach and said, “My baby girl is right here. She is a person.”
The officer replied, “Oh, no. It’s got to be two people outside of the body,” the report added.
Bottone was given a $275 ticket highlighting that Texas penal code recognizes an unborn child as a person yet the state’s transportation code doesn’t.
“I really don’t feel like it’s right because one law is saying it one way but then another law is saying it another way,” Bottone said.
Attorney Chad Ruback said, “because there is no Texas statute that says what to do in this situation. Texas transportation code has not been amended recently to address this particular situation…who knows the legislature might do so in the next session.”
Bottone is expected to appear in court for the ticket on July 20, which she said is around the time of her due date.