PLANO, Texas — The pregnant Plano woman fighting a ticket for driving in the HOV lane has given birth to her “second passenger” over the weekend.
Brandy Bottone made the announcement via her Instagram page on Sunday, Aug. 7. “My second passenger has arrived!” Bottone wrote. “We are so in love and will be spending all out time loving on baby girl.”
In early July, Bottone was pulled over when she alone took the high occupancy lane (HOV) on Central Expressway in Dallas County.
The officer asked Bottone why she was traveling in the lane alone.
"I was like, 'Uh, this!,'" Bottone said, pointing to her belly.
She felt it was right to think the child she was carrying was a passenger in a lane designed for vehicles with two or more passengers.
But the officer didn’t pay Bottone’s explanation and issued her a $275 ticket for an HOV violation.
The Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) online description of the HOV rule isn't entirely clear. It reads simply, "A vehicle occupied by two or more people."
Even the officer admitted she could fight the ticket and hundreds, even thousands, of people on social media feel that, too – which put her squarely in the middle of the abortion debate.
Bottone of Plano told WFAA that in the moment she wasn't trying to take a stand but only trying to fight a ticket. For context, Roe v. Wade had just been overturned several days before, and Texas has an impending ban on abortions.
"One law is saying that this is a baby and now he's telling me this baby that's jabbing my ribs is not a baby. Why can't it all make sense?" Bottone posed rhetorically.
During a July 10 interview, Bottone told WFAA that she was taking a neutral stance politically. In the last month, she’s heard from both sides of the abortion debate.
But, she did say, "If there's a pro-women category, that's my stance."
In a July 20 traffic court hearing, Bottone's case was postponed.
Court records showed her court hearing was moved off the general populate docket and onto an attorney's docket, meaning she hired an attorney for her case.
We’ll see how her case plays out in the future. But for now, Bottone will be enjoying her new baby girl in her arms.