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‘He doesn’t count?’ Hearse driver in HOV lane gets pulled over, Nevada cops say

Here’s what to do when you hear a siren

The crews at Modesto Fire Station No. 5 responded to 4,200 calls last year. Whether it be a fire engine, a police officer or an ambulance, if its lights and sirens are on, here are the basics for yielding to emergency vehicles.
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The crews at Modesto Fire Station No. 5 responded to 4,200 calls last year. Whether it be a fire engine, a police officer or an ambulance, if its lights and sirens are on, here are the basics for yielding to emergency vehicles.

Drivers should know they can’t get away with mannequin passengers in the carpool lane.

But what about dead bodies? A Nevada hearse driver learned Monday that corpses don’t count either, state Highway Patrol officers said on Twitter.

Southern Command officers said the local funeral home driver was stopped in a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane and said he “thought the deceased could be counted as two people.”

The driver was let off with a warning, Highway Patrol said.

Trooper Travis Smaka said he was surprised during the Interstate 15 stop when the Chrysler minivan he stopped turned out to have a gurney carrying a dead body in back, according to CNN.

CNN reports that the driver asked: “So, he doesn’t count in the back?”

“It just threw me off,” Smaka said, according to CNN. “That was more of the more interesting responses I’ve gotten.”

Officers clarified the policy after the hearse incident.

“You must have a living, breathing human occupying the seats in the vehicle to be in compliance with HOV lane rules,” Trooper Jason Buratczuk said in a statement, according to KVVU.

The HOV lanes involved in the incident opened in May following an almost $1 billion project that expanded Interstate 15 in Southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

Carpool lane violators risk a $250 citation, according to the newspaper.

But at least the hearse driver’s passenger used to be alive: Washington state troopers have been shaming drivers on Twitter for trying to get away with using HOV lanes with skeletons, Trump cutouts and dummies in their passenger seats, McClatchy reported last year.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.

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