Seattle man busted with lifelike dummy passenger in HOV lane scam

In a Wednesday enforcement action by the Washington State Patrol (WSP), a Seattle driver was caught using a dummy in an attempt to cheat the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on southbound I-405 near I-90.

Trooper Rick Johnson posted about the incident on X, showcasing the creative but illegal attempt to bypass carpool lane regulations.

"#AnotherDummy SB 405 near I-90! The human driver explained he had been using this for a long time due to carpooling being so screwed up," Johnson tweeted, including a photo of the dummy. 

The dummy, which was properly buckled into the passenger seat, was seen wearing glasses and sporting a beard and goatee and a Columbia zip-up fleece.

Johnson handled the situation and cited the driver for the violation. This incident, however, underscores the ongoing issue of HOV lane abuse, which the WSP has been actively addressing.

The violation carries a steep fine of $186 for the first offense. Further violations within a two-year period increase to $336. And if you use a dummy or a doll, an extra $200 will be added to the fine.

In March 2024, the WSP conducted an emphasis patrol targeting HOV violations along I-90, issuing 130 citations in less than three hours. One driver was even cited twice within a two-mile stretch. These enforcement actions are part of a broader effort to ensure that HOV lanes function as intended, promoting carpooling and reducing traffic congestion.

As the WSP continues to crack down on HOV violators, drivers are reminded to adhere to the rules and contribute to safer, more efficient travel for everyone on the road. The recent actions of the WSP also serve as a stern warning against the misuse of carpool lanes, emphasizing the importance of following traffic regulations to maintain order and safety on the highways.


These new Washington laws go into effect July 1

Seattle cracks down on street racing with new legislation, $500 fine

Deputies shoot domestic violence suspect in Tacoma, investigation underway

US acknowledges Northwest dams have devastated the region’s Native tribes

To get the best local news, weather and sports in Seattle for free, sign up for the daily FOX 13 Seattle newsletter.