Pregnant Texas Woman Ticketed Twice For Driving In HOV Lane

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The Texas woman who was issued a traffic ticket for violating an HOV law revealed that she was ticketed not once, but twice.

Brandy Bottone of Plano, Texas, made headlines after she was stopped at a sheriff's checkpoint in June 2022 for driving in a high-occupancy-vehicle lane while 34 weeks pregnant.

Bottone told the officer her unborn child was her second passenger based on Texas penal code, which states an individual is a “human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”

Though Bottone told the officer she didn't want to get "political" —referencing the reversal of Roe v. Wade and Texas' trigger law banning abortion with only narrow exceptions — she was issued a ticket for $275.

"The first ticket was dismissed sometime early last week," Bottone told TODAY Parents, adding that her attorney got a notification of the dismissal via email.

Related story: Pregnant Texas woman pulled over for driving in HOV lane, says unborn child is 2nd passenger

On her Instagram stories Monday, Bottone, 32, revealed she actually got ticketed for the same reason twice.

"The second ticket happened the day before I went into labor on August 3," Bottone told TODAY. "I was using the same route that I did previously and they had another checkpoint set up."

The second ticket was issued in the "same scenario as the prior ticket," according to Bottone.

"I was going to pick up my son from his father's house and they had a checkpoint set up," she explained. "I was pulled aside and asked the same question. I stated, 'Yes, right here,'" gesturing to her belly.

Bottone told TODAY the police officer "didn't even blink or care" and instructed her to pull over to the ticket police officers.

"Oddly enough I got the same exact officer as the first ticket writing me this one," Bottone said. "He chuckled and said, 'Hello, I know you.' He was super friendly, but did state that he would be giving a ticket and really didn’t need to explain since I knew what he was going to say. He did take my license and showed the other police officers that it was me and they all grinned and said, 'No way' or 'Really?'"

The officer issued Bottone a ticket.

"He asked when I was going to have the baby (and) I said, 'Actually, tomorrow,'" Bottone said of the incident. "He said, 'Good luck! Have a good day.'"

Bottone shared that her second ticket was issued before the dismissal of the first one.

"According to my attorney, they will most likely keep on ticketing pregnant women until the law is changed, which won’t happen until after election season is over, most likely," she said.

A request for comment from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department was not answered, and the Dallas Police Department told TODAY that Bottone was not ticketed by their department.

"We do not patrol the HOV lanes," a representative for Dallas Police Department said in a written statement.

The Texas Department of Transportation’s website states that an HOV lane in north Texas can be used by “a vehicle occupied by two or more people or a motorcyclist.” The website also features a section explaining who cannot use the HOV lane, but it does not specify laws regarding pregnant women.

A request for clarity on the HOV laws in Texas from the Texas Department of Transportation was not answered.

In an Instagram story slide this week, Bottone shared she is "unsure of what more I can do."

“I hope that this gets addressed and sadly my point was not taken seriously and seemed to find a roundabout way to dismiss my question of what the correct interpretation of the laws are," she told TODAY Parents.

Bottone shared on her Instagram stories that she believes the second ticket will also be dismissed. (@thebrandybotttone via Instagram)
Bottone shared on her Instagram stories that she believes the second ticket will also be dismissed. (@thebrandybotttone via Instagram)

Bottone welcomed her little girl the first week of August.

"I hope that someone in a higher political position than me takes a stand on the issue of the laws not speaking together correctly and not projecting as a 'I want my cake and eat it too,'" she said.

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This article was originally published on TODAY.com