The Ol’ Dummy-in-the-Carpool-Lane Trick Only Works If You’re Careful

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Campbell's passenger.

James Campbell had a bulletproof plan to improve his daily commute: Stick a dummy in his vehicle’s front seat, throw a hoodie over it, and cruise into the Long Island Expressway’s fast-moving carpool lane. What could go wrong? Nothing, in theory — but Campbell got cocky. 

NBC New York reports that on Friday morning, the Suffolk County Highway Patrol pulled Campbell over for speeding in the aforementioned LIE carpool lane. (He was going 77 miles per hour.) It didn’t take long for officer Jonathan Abrams to figure out that the guy riding shotgun was made of wood. “I was trying not to laugh at the guy because I thought it was quite silly,” he said. 

Campbell ended up with summonses for speeding and an occupancy violation. Would this have happened if — high on his own craftiness — he hadn’t recklessly disregarded the speed limit? Probably not. “The silhouette was realistic enough,” said Abrams. “You see people with hoods up, sleeping in the front seat all the time.” 

But Campbell might still have the last laugh. While he told the cop that he resorted to the scheme because he was nervous about being late to a new job, he told NBC that he’s been using the dummy “for months.” Take that, suckers. 

Dummy-in-the-Carpool-Lane Trick Fails