This Carpool Passenger Dummy Was Good Enough to Fool the Cops Until it Wasn’t

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By Car Brand Experts

Article Title: The Ingenious Carpool Passenger Dummy that Almost Fooled the Police

Subheading 1: Skirting Carpool Rules with Creativity

There’s no shortage of creative attempts to get away with using carpool lanes for solo drivers. To comply with high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane regulations, many drivers resort to inventive tactics like bringing along fake passengers. The array of tricks includes mannequins, dummies, and even inflatable characters.

Subheading 2: The Next-Level Passenger Dummy

The California Highway Patrol revealed a case where a driver went above and beyond in creating a passenger dummy that baffled authorities. The passenger dummy, wearing a hoodie, sunglasses, and a semi-realistic mask with a goatee, appeared oddly human-like at a glance. This clever disguise stirred some commotion when the driver got pulled over, not for the fake passenger but for a different HOV violation.

The driver’s attempt to outsmart the system with an intricate dummy almost succeeded, highlighting the lengths some would go to bypass traffic rules.


In the ongoing battle between officials enforcing road regulations and cunning drivers looking for shortcuts, the ingenuity displayed in creating such a lifelike dummy underscores the determined efforts individuals make to bend the rules. However, despite the creativity involved, it’s essential to respect traffic laws for the safety and fairness of all road users.


Q: Can drivers really use fake passengers in carpool lanes?

A: No, using fake passengers to qualify for carpool lanes is against the law and can result in fines or penalties if caught by authorities.

Q: Why are carpool lanes reserved for vehicles with multiple occupants?

A: Carpool lanes promote ridesharing, reduce traffic congestion, and encourage environmentally friendly transportation options by prioritizing vehicles with multiple passengers.

Q: Are there any legal alternatives to using fake passengers for carpool lanes?

A: Yes, carpool lanes permit vehicles with a specified number of occupants, so legitimate options include carpooling with friends or family, using public transportation, or driving hybrid or electric vehicles in some areas.

Q: What penalties can drivers face for violating carpool lane rules?

A: Penalties for violating carpool lane rules vary by location but can include fines, points on the driver’s record, and even mandatory traffic school in some cases.# Headline: California Highway Patrol Busts HOV Lane Violator with “Plastic Friend”


The California Highway Patrol recently caught a driver violating carpool lane rules by cleverly using a “plastic friend” to avoid detection. The incident has sparked discussions about the effectiveness of such methods and the driver’s creativity in attempting to deceive law enforcement.

CHP Santa Fe Springs Reveals the Incident:

Officer Kaplan from the CHP Santa Fe Springs division recounted making an enforcement stop on a vehicle for crossing solid double lines, only to discover that the driver’s sole companion in the car was a plastic dummy strategically placed in the passenger seat. The details of this unusual encounter were shared on the CHP’s Instagram account.

The Role of the “Plastic Friend”:

Despite the driver almost getting away with the ruse, the CHP acknowledged the dummy’s convincing appearance but emphasized that “plastic is plastic” in the end. The incident highlighted the driver’s attempt at a high-quality disguise that defied the norm of using more comical or obvious props in other similar cases.

Discussion on Effectiveness and Risks:

Comparisons were drawn to other instances of carpool lane dummy passengers, raising questions about how frequently such tactics succeed. The incident has also led to speculation about whether the CHP inadvertently provided tips to potential violators through their acknowledgment of the dummy’s realism.


The use of deceptive measures like carpool lane dummies continues to be a topic of amusement and concern in law enforcement circles. While this incident showcases a unique attempt at avoiding regulations, it also raises awareness about the potential consequences of such actions when caught. The balance between creativity and adherence to traffic laws remains a delicate one for drivers seeking shortcuts.


Q: How did the California Highway Patrol discover the driver’s deception?

A: The officer pulled over the vehicle for a traffic violation and found that the only passenger in the car was a plastic dummy seated in the front.

Q: Are carpool lane dummies a common method used to bypass regulations?

A: While not widespread, cases of drivers using fake passengers to utilize carpool lanes illegally occasionally make headlines.

Q: What was unique about the plastic dummy in this incident?

A: The dummy’s realistic appearance, particularly with details like a goatee, stood out compared to more obvious or humorous dummies used by other violators.

Q: Did the California Highway Patrol address the effectiveness of the plastic dummy?

A: While acknowledging the dummy’s convincing look, the CHP emphasized that ultimately, a plastic dummy cannot replace a real passenger in the carpool lane.

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