(NEW YORK) — An Oregon Woman was fined $260 for riding in the car pool lane on Interstate 5 with a giant teddy bear as her passenger.
“He was in the back seat for a while I thought it might make my car cuter if he was riding in front with me,” Scarlett Zibritovsky told KATU.
Zibritovsky said she was going on a camping trip and trying to get home quickly and suspected the bear just might give her a leg up on her fellow drivers. “I was trying to get home. I was going on a camping trip trying to get home fast. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, I just got over and thought if I can get a couple cars ahead of me, why not,” she said.
The officer who pulled Scarlett over snapped a photo of her unusual “passenger,” which, according to Zibritovsky, has been riding around with her for a couple of months awaiting its potential donation to goodwill or a child.
Asked if she thought she could get away with her bear-based ruse, Scarlett appeared to agree, “yeah, in a way,” she said. “I was driving in the HOV lane with a teddy bear. It looked like a person. I’m a good Samaritan, I normally don’t break the law.”
For now, Zibritovsky says she has learned her lesson and won’t be offering up her passenger seat to any giant teddy bears. ”Live and learn,” she said. “Definitely learned not to fake a passenger with a huge bear.”
Zibritovsky says she plans to go to court to see if she can get the fine reduced.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tal Kopan, CNN
Michael Nedelman, CNN
Samira Said, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN