Drivers Use Fake People to Bend Rules on HOV Lanes

Drivers resort to mannequins to drive on HOV lanes, but DART police aren't fooled often

Two or more people, or people on a motorcycle -- that's the rule for HOV lanes. But lots of drivers bring along company that bends the rule.

"I know that there's officers that have stopped vehicles with mannequins in, normally up north in (the) 635 area, 35 area, but it has happened," said Dallas Area Rapid Transit police officer Tommy Henderson.

Celso Tirres, of Grand Prairie, said he and his daughter once saw one in the car next to them.

"He had it dressed up, you know, it was like a clown-type mannequin," he said.

DART isn't sure how many people use mannequins in North Texas. But Houston police report seeing about one per month.

"We've seen somebody create something with some homer buckets from Home Depot," said DART's Morgan Lyons. "I believe there's probably been a blow-up doll along the way or a mannequin."

DART police said the drivers never get very far.

"Unfortunately, they think they can beat the system by using the mannequin," Henderson said. "But most of the time, they get caught."

Tickets run a couple hundred dollars, so it's best to stay out of the HOV lane unless you have a human being in the passenger seat.

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