Pregnant Texas woman who claimed unborn child as second passenger had ticket dismissed, gets another

Brandy Bottone received a second ticket for same HOV violation following the dismissal

A sign indicates a HOV lane in Houston in February 2021. (KPRC/File)

PLANO, Texas – A pregnant Texas woman who received a traffic ticket for driving alone on the HOV lane in Dallas recently had her ticket dismissed, but then got cited a second time for the same reason.

Brandy Bottone was cited earlier this summer for driving alone in the HOV lane but she made headlines for claiming her unborn child should count as a second passenger.

According to Texas state law, all HOV lane vehicles must have two or more occupants. Motorcycles are also allowed to use the HOV lane.

“I was driving to pick up my son. I knew I couldn’t be a minute late, so I took the HOV lane. As I exited the HOV, there was a checkpoint at the end of the exit. I slammed on my brakes and I was pulled over by police,” Bottone told Dallas Morning News’ Dave Lieber.

Bottone also spoke with NBC DFW and said an officer searched her vehicle for another passenger an asked if it was just her in the car.

“And I said, ‘No, there’s two of us?’ And he said, ‘Well, where’s the other person?’,” Bottone told NBD DFW.

“I pointed to my stomach and said, ‘My baby girl is right here. She is a person,’” Bottone said.

FOX 29 reported that Bottone, who planned to fight the traffic ticket in court, had the ticket dismissed by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

However, she got a second ticket at the same location for the exact same reason.

Bottone allegedly said she wasn’t trying to prove a point she was just trying to get where she needed to go.

Bottone, who has since had her daughter, said the second officer who stopped her recognized her immediately and told her he didn’t need to explain what the ticket was for because she already knew.

“Given that her ticket was dismissed, Bottone said she believed she could still drive in an HOV lane,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

The district attorney’s office has not responded to the new citation but Bettone said she didn’t plan to pay for the original fine.

The Texas penal code states an unborn child is considered a person “at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”

Texas transportation code doesn’t make the same distinction.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.