Driver Cited for Using Mannequin as Fake Passenger in HOV Lane

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Operator of vehicle stopped by police on Interstate 93 in Quincy, Mass.

    (NECN: Kathryn Sotnik, Boston) - He's an elegant man with long eyelashes, black penciled-in eyebrows and mustache.

    He was riding shotgun in a passenger seat around 6:30 Thursday morning on I-93 North in Quincy when Trooper John Carnell, working an HOV detail, says he noticed something amiss.

    "The position of the neck didn't seem right," said Carnell.

    Trooper Carnell says he caught the male driver using the mannequin head as a way to get in the high occupancy vehicle lane, where two or more passengers are required.

    "It was propped up in a work jacket, and something didn't look right with the angle of the neck, so I stopped the operator and he said he didn't want to wait in the traffic," he said.

    NECN asked rush hour commuters what they think.

    "I want to to Macy's and get one," said a male driver.

    Mike King, who commutes from Plymouth to the Boston area, said he thinks the mannequin head is "frightening."

    Trooper Carnell says last year he caught a woman doing the same thing. In that case, it with a full-size baby doll strapped into a car seat.

    In Colorado several years back, one man who tried to beat the system even had to wear a sign saying "the HOV lane is not for dummies."

    He also had to auction off his mannequin for charity.

    As for Trooper Carnell, he was asked how he'd rate this mannequin bust compared to others.

    "I'd probably give this one a five, maybe the eyelashes add a little to that," he said.

    The male driver was issued a $50 citation.

    State Police would not identify him.

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