I heard last night and read this morning that a judge has ruled that unborn babies don't count for carpools, and despite my ardent pro-life stance my reaction is "duh!".

Unborn children don't count when it comes to carpool lanes, according to a judge's ruling.

Even after being fined $367 for improper use of a High Occupancy Vehicle lane, Ahwatukee Foothills resident Candace Dickinson stood by her contention that Arizona traffic laws don't define what a person is, so the child inside her womb justified her use of the lane. ...

The case set off a firestorm of opinion but Phoenix Municipal Court Judge Dennis Freeman used a "common sense" definition in which an individual occupies a "separate and distinct" space in a vehicle.

"The law is meant to fill empty space in a vehicle," Freeman said.

I think carpool lanes are a dumb idea in general, but if they're going to make any sense at all they should set a quota for licensed drivers, not just for people filling otherwise empty space. If a mom drives her five minor kids around she shouldn't get to use the carpool lane, because those five kids can't drive and wouldn't otherwise be in other vehicles.

There is the case where a single driver picks up other peoples' kids and ferries them all to soccer practice or whatnot, and in those cases you can argue that the carpool keeps the parents of the other kids off the road. Ok, so make the parents who aren't driving give their drivers licenses to their kids for the duration, thereby ensuring that the number of cars being driven is actually reduced.

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