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

“The appearance is next level modeling but at the end of the day… plastic is plastic.”

byNico DeMattia|
California Highway Patrol
California Highway Patrol.


There's never a shortage of creativity when it comes to people trying to skirt carpool lane rules. Since you aren't allowed to drive in high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes by yourself, many drivers will create fake passengers to ride along with them. We've seen people use mannequins, dummies, and even an inflatable Grinch. However, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), this driver's passenger dummy was "next-level."

I'm not sure the dummy was next-level, as it seemed to just be a mannequin with a semi-realistic-looking mask over its face, a hoodie on with its hood up, and a pair of sunglasses. The mask had a goatee, though, so that seemed to have been enough to pass as human to police while driving by, as the driver was only pulled over for breaking another HOV rule.

"Officer Kaplan made an enforcement stop on this vehicle for crossing solid double lines only to realize the driver was the only occupant in the vehicle with their plastic friend," said the CHP Santa Fe on Instagram.

It's funny to me that the CHP is admitting that the dummy worked, as the driver wouldn't have been caught had it not been for a different violation. "We’ve gotta give it to them, the appearance is next level modeling but at the end of the day… plastic is plastic."

While this dummy was obviously more realistic than an inflatable Grinch (but not nearly as funny), it isn't that much different or more realistic-looking than other HOV dummies we've seen. Maybe it was the goatee that did the trick. It's hard to say how often these carpool dummies work, as we only ever hear about them when people are caught, but it seems like this one worked better than most of the others we've seen. Although, did the CHP just show other would-be carpool lane-crashers how to get away with it?

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