Hearse driver discovers corpse doesn’t count as passenger for carpool lane
The carpool lane – or HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane – is designed to be used by cars with passengers in, in a bid to ease congestion.
This is a brilliant idea and needs to be adopted in more countries. However, some people take the concept having a 'passenger' a step too far, as one Nevada driver found out last week.
Our rather morbid story starts with a Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper, Travis Smaka who pulled over an ordinary looking Chrysler Town And Country minivan, which was driving in the HOV lane without a passenger. That's completely understandable until Smaka realised that this particular minivan was in fact an on-duty hearse... with a coffin in the back.
For those who are unaware, minivans like the Town And Country are commonly used as hearses as they have a lot of space behind the front seats and don't need major modifications to haul dead people from place to place.
Smaka caught the whole ordeal on his body camera on Nevada's Interstate 15. "The driver informed me that he had someone who was deceased in the back of the vehicle," Smaka said. Being a highway trooper, this would immediately raise suspicions so naturally, Smaka had a look in the back. To his surprise, there wasn't an exposed rotting corpse but, a casket, complete with hearse equipment.
Smaka ended up giving the driver of the hearse a warning, saying that the police heavily monitor the HOV lane and that the hearse driver needed to stay in the normal traffic lane. The driver clearly had a dark sense of humour and responded to the officer with, "So, he doesn't count in the back?"
"It just threw me off. That was more of the more interesting responses I've gotten," Smaka said.
The hearse driver only got a warning but he still could get some negative repercussions from the the funeral home or the family of the deceased for using the body as an excuse to use the HOV lane.
So remember, you can't use the deceased as your excuse to use the HOV lane. This means that you have to have at least one other living human in the car with you. This also means that pets, mannequins and even cardboard cutouts don't count.