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Life-size doll’s driver busted for Tacoma carpool lane violation

Driver ticketed by Washington State Patrol for speeding in a high occupancy vehicle lane with a doll buckled in the passenger seat.
Driver ticketed by Washington State Patrol for speeding in a high occupancy vehicle lane with a doll buckled in the passenger seat. Courtesy

The driver got busted and the passenger wasn’t talking.

A man who got a speeding ticket Friday morning on Interstate 5 north of Tacoma received a second violation for being in a carpool lane even though he had a passenger.

The “passenger” turned out to be a life-size doll.

“From a distance you wouldn’t be able to tell,” said Washington State Patrol spokesman Todd Bartolac.

A trooper saw the driver weaving in and out of traffic during the morning commute at the Pierce County-King County line.

When the driver entered the northbound carpool lane, he accelerated to 81 miles per hour, Bartolac said.

After stopping the vehicle, the trooper approached the driver.

“He looked at the passenger and realized it was a Barbie,” Bartolac said.

Mattel doesn’t make life-size Barbies. The doll was a realistic-appearing woman with long blond hair and a sporty pink headband.

She doesn’t look happy in the photo the trooper made. But she is wearing a seat belt.

No laws prohibit people from taking their dolls for a drive.

“Maybe that was a real person to him,” Bartolac offered. “In Washington, we’re open to a lot of different things.”

The trooper didn’t cite the man for the unsafe lane changes.

“Troopers are human, too,” Bartolec said.

Yes, even if not all passengers are.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor

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