A pregnant woman ticketed for driving in the carpool lane will have her day in court next month to argue that her unborn child counts as a second person in the car.
"I understand the reasoning for the HOV lane," said Candace Dickinson, 23. "But whether my son is in a car seat versus in my stomach, I don’t get it. It’s the same thing."
The near-full-term Ahwatukee Foothills woman was driving to work on Interstate 10 near Interstate 17 at 6 a.m. last week when a Phoenix police officer pulled her over.
"He asked how many people were in the car with me, and I said, ‘Two’ and he said ‘No, one.’ I said I was nine months pregnant and had my son in the car with me," she said. "The way the law is written, he can occupy the vehicle without occupying a seat."
Officer Frank Valenzuela, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said this is not a common occurrence on Valley freeways. He said the law’s intent is not to include pregnant women, but to increase vehicle occupancy to conserve fuel and reduce traffic.