Speeder caught using mannequin to cheat carpool lane in Washington state

By Ben Hooper  |  Feb. 20, 2017 at 9:08 AM
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Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The Washington State Patrol said a speeder was also ticketed for carpool cheating when the "young lady" riding shotgun was found to be a lifelike mannequin.

Trooper Todd Bartolac, the state patrol's public information officer, said on Twitter the man was pulled over Friday for speeding in the high-occupancy lane of Interstate 5, north of Tacoma, and the trooper soon realized there was something amiss about the "young lady" in the passenger seat.

"He looked at the passenger and realized it was a Barbie," Bartolac told the Tacoma News-Tribune.

The passenger wasn't an official Barbie -- Mattel doesn't make them that big -- but a life-sized blonde mannequin that bears a startling resemblance to the fashion doll and, from a distance, a real woman.

"From a distance you wouldn't be able to tell," Bartolac said.

Bartolac said there's no law against taking dolls for a drive, but such a passenger doesn't qualify a vehicle to use the HOV lanes.

"Maybe that was a real person to him," Bartolac said. "In Washington, we're open to a lot of different things."

The spokesman said the driver was cited for speeding and an HOV violation.

"On the positive side they were both wearing their seat belts!" he tweeted.

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