DIX HILLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A driver went to great lengths to use the HOV lane on the Long Island Expressway, and police say it wasn’t the smartest move.

Authorities say James Britt of Centereach was using a mannequin as a phony passenger to ride in the car share lane, reports CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

(credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

A highway patrolman stopped the 34-year-old Britt, of Centerreach, near Exit 51 in Dix Hills after he became suspicious of his passenger.

The mannequin was wearing a sweatshirt, sunglasses, hat and jeans and was seated in the front passenger seat.

“We have to give that driver credit for ingenuity,” said Deputy Inspector David Regina. “The motorist said his work schedule had changed and he was trying to make up some time.”

Britt was issued a summons.

“When you go to that extent, it’s a little bit crazy isn’t it?” said neighbor Kim Stump. “It’s not fair on other drivers who are doing the right thing.”

HOV lanes around the country have put creative rule-breaking minds to work. On Long Island, at least six dummies caught since the HOV lane debuted years ago.

They may get laughs, but drivers who play by the rules don’t think its too funny.

Like them or not, officials with AAA Northeast say HOV lanes do reduce congestion and emissions.

Violators face up to $250 in fines and license points.

The officer who nabbed Britt has a knack for spotting dummies.

“In July 2016 he also pulled over another driver with a dummy in the passenger seat,” said Regina. “In my opinion, this one was one of the more elaborate ones.”

 

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