Proposed bill would count fetus as passenger in HOV lanes in Va.

The legislation from the Republican lawmaker would require pregnant people to show “proof” of pregnancy
A Republican lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow a fetus to be considered a car passenger in HOV lanes on Virginia highways.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 10:41 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2023 at 4:34 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Republican lawmaker is pushing for a bill that would deem a pregnant person’s fetus as a car passenger in high occupancy lanes.

House Bill 1894, sponsored by Republican Del. Nicholas Freitas, would allow for a pregnant woman to be considered two people, allowing them to use the carpool lane on Virginia highways.

The legislation would require pregnant people to show “proof” of pregnancy, by having their pregnancies “certified” with the Virginia Department of Transportation. Those certifications would then be linked to toll collection devices - like EZ Passes - in vehicles.

The bill says if the pregnant woman notifies VDOT ”that she is no longer pregnant, the Department shall purge all data related to such pregnancy within 24 hours.”

This bill is the second of its kind ever proposed. Last year, a pregnant woman in Texas argued to police officers that her unborn child counted as a second person in the car when she was pulled over for illegally using the carpool lane.

High occupancy lanes require drivers to have at least one passenger in their cars when using the lanes.