A new bill brought forth within the state legislature of Texas would see that it is legal to include a child in the womb as a second person for the use of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
Known by House Bill 521 and currently kicking off the docket for the 2023 session, the new bill was first introduced by State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R) and would now allow a pregnant driver to make use of any HOV lane throughout the state.
The text of the new bill states, “An operator of a motor vehicle who is pregnant is entitled to use any high occupancy vehicle lane in this state regardless of whether the vehicle is occupied by a passenger other than the operator’s unborn child.” Currently, it is not quite clear how police would possibly end up enforcing the new law.
This proposed bill hits the legislation in the wake of Texas woman Brandy Bottone being pulled over while using the HOV lane on Central Expressway in Dallas back in June, only to tell the officer at the time that her unborn child should count as a second person for the purposes of the lane.
When questioned about who else was actually in the car with her, she explained to WFAA that she just pointed down at her pregnant belly while saying, “Uh, this!” She put forth the argument that the ruling from the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade meant directly that her child should for all intents and purposes be included as a second passenger in her car.
Bottone was later issued another ticket for the same thing in the wake of her first ticket had been fully dismissed without even seeing a court hearing, as reported by NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth.
“Based on a review of the facts and circumstances of this case, and the applicable law, the state moves to dismiss the case,” stated the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
The trend-setting mother was pressed for her response to the new bit of legislation in a Thursday report by Dallas News.
“Wow! This is a wonderful step forward for the women of Texas,” exclaimed Bottone. “Pregnancy is stressful, but your anxiety is through the roof without the hassle of being stopped and questioned if another life is on board is a step in the right direction. Baby Charlotte and I are rooting that the bill gets passed and other states follow suit.”
Bottone gave birth to her baby daughter Charlotte back in August.
The legislature of Texas is expected to go back into session on the 10th of Janury, and if approved would go into effect on the 1st of September, 2023.