Her fetus wasn't riding shotgun, after all

The Arizona woman who tried to use her unborn child to avoid a ticket for driving solo in the carpool lane is out of luck.

Published January 12, 2006 1:25AM (EST)

Remember the fetus-as-passenger defense? That's what one Candace Dickinson, 23, an expectant mother in Arizona, tried to claim last month to get out of a hefty ticket for driving in the carpool lane alone.

Well, it didn't work. A judge in Phoenix ruled that an unborn child does not count as a passenger, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. "The law is meant to fill empty space in a vehicle," Municipal Court Judge Dennis Freeman said, citing a "common sense" definition, in which an individual occupies a "separate and distinct" space in a vehicle.

Thanks for the common sense, judge. Maybe Dickinson can pay off that $367 fine by bringing out her own line of custom "Unborn Baby on Board" signs.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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