And now, it’s getting even more interesting, folks. Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) Trooper Travis Smaka encountered a carpooling head-scratcher on Monday when he pulled over a hearse in the HOV lane.
“Today we stopped a local [funeral] home hearse in the HOV lane,” the NHP Southern Command tweeted. “The driver had the dearly departed in the back, he thought the deceased could be counted as two people.”
— NHP Southern Command (@NHPSouthernComm) July 1, 2019
“I guess we should clarify this: living, breathing people count for the HOV lane,” the tweet adds.
In a separate statement, the agency doubled down on the rules, saying, “We don’t want to beat the rules of the HOV lanes to death, but you must have a living, breathing human occupying the seats in the vehicle to be in compliance with HOV lane rules."
Local media reports indicate that the hearse was pulled over on the southbound lanes of the state’s Interstate 15 near Spring Mountain Road. Smaka told local Las Vegas station Fox 5 that he’s “fairly certain … [that] this was by far the strangest excuse for being in the HOV lane [that] a trooper in Las Vegas has ever heard.”
Although the misinformed motorist was given a warning after being corrected about the HOV requirements, violators are typically subject to fines of up to $250.
This incident comes almost two months after the Silver State opted to open 20 additional miles of HOV lanes on Interstates 95 and 15 in Sin City, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.