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Pregnant Texas driver argues fetus is passenger after carpool fine

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A pregnant woman in Texas who was fined for driving solo in a carpool lane said her fetus must be counted as a passenger.

Brandy Bottone, 32 years old and 34 weeks pregnant, vowed to go to court after she was pulled over in Dallas and handed a penalty by a police officer last month.

She was driving in a lane reserved for vehicles carrying at least two people – a fact she did not dispute.

But Bottone told a police officer that her unborn child was a person in the eyes of the law.

“He said, ‘Is there somebody else in the car?’” Bottone told CNN.

“I pointed at my stomach and I was like, ‘Right here’,” she recalled.

When the policeman said being pregnant “doesn’t count” as the two persons must be “outside the body,” Bottone insisted that “this is a baby”.

The Texas criminal code, like that of many conservative states, recognises a fetus as a “person”, but this does not appear to apply for laws regulating transportation.

A Toyota Prius in the carpool lane on highway 101 in San Rafael, California. PHOTO: AFP