Man Uses Mannequin for HOV Lane

3-14-06 - A driver who was caught using a mannequin to drive in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane near Denver, Colorado was back on the highway Tuesday, but he was not driving.

54-year old Greg Pringle was ordered to pay a $100 fine and stand on the side of the highway in Westminster with a sign that says "HOV lane not for dummies." He started his community service Tuesday during the morning rush hours.

Pringle was ticketed on January 26 for driving an unauthorized vehicle in a high-occupancy lane, open only to buses, motorcycles, vehicles carrying two or more people or hybrid vehicles. His dummy, named "Tillie," was hauled away to the Westminster police evidence locker following the citation.

Pringle then launched a Web site to free his dummy, where he sold autographed "Free Tillie" T-shirts. He has also said he will sell Tillie on eBay. Pringle paid the fine at the hearing and agreed not to profit from sales of the t-shirts and Tillie herself. He faces six months of unsupervised probation until arrangements are made to give any profits from those sales to a charitable organization.

Pringle said he created the mannequin using a polystyrene head, a coat hanger, and clothing stuffed with newspapers.