Arizona House Bill Introduced Would Allow Pregnant Drivers To Use HOV Lane

Eating for two? What about driving for two? It is a new concept that an Arizona lawmaker is trying to get passed that may provide an extra special benefit to expecting mothers.

A bill recently introduced in the Arizona House of Representatives would allow pregnant women to drive in the HOV carpool lane during prime driving hours.

House Bill 2417, introduced by Rep. Matt Gress, a Republican from Phoenix, and co-sponsored by House Majority Whip Teresa Martinez, a Republican from Casa Grande, considers pregnant women and their unborn child as two people, which would allow them when traveling on the freeway access to the HOV lane during the busy hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In the bill, women would have to confirm their pregnancy with a health care professional who would then inform the Arizona Department of Transportation. The bill could align with a process already in place for drivers with disabilities. Mothers would receive a placard for expecting moms to put on the rearview mirror that signals law enforcement that this driver is expecting a child.

Supporters of this bill say there are two lives and she should allowed to be in the HOV lane. “I believe in a fair application of our HOV laws,” Gress said. “Where you have more than one person in the car, you get to use the HOV lane. I’m going to support the mom and I’m going to support her baby. To me, this is a good pro-life bill that supports women and children. I think it has the added benefit of again helping expecting moms get to their place in a safe fashion as quickly as you can.”

The bill must go through the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, with Martinez serving as vice-chair. On that committee sits five Democrats and six Republicans.

After the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade last summer, local governments were forced to figure out how to merge existing state laws. The change in law lead a woman in Texas to debate that her unborn child was a passenger.