Police in Metro Vancouver were met with stiff resistance when they tried to question a passenger in a vehicle they pulled over for alleged traffic violations on Thursday.
Officers were baffled by the woman’s silent, expressionless disposition. That is until they realized she was in fact a fairly convincing dummy, and the driver was pulling into a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on Highway 1.
“This is one of those cases where the RCMP got their mannequin,” Cst. Mike Halskov joked in a news release. “The passenger exercised the right to remain silent.”
HOV lanes are designed to encourage more people to travel in fewer vehicles. The minimum number of people per vehicle is specified on highway signs.
Police said the driver was issued “several tickets” for the alleged offences. The mannequin, whom officers have named “Natalie Port Mann” after the bridge where the incident took place, was brought into custody. The realistic female dummy, complete with jewelry and sunglasses, was seized to prevent the owner from trying the same stunt again.
Traffic on the Port Mann Bridge has surged after tolls were eliminated in September 2017. Police said they are catching more HOV lane cheaters as a result.
Halskov is reminding drivers that human passengers are the only ones that count towards the HOV quota.
“In order to legally operate in the HOV lane you are required to have a minimum of two human beings in the vehicle, unless indicated otherwise by signage,” he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Jon Woodward