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HP officers battle increasing use of drivers with creative dummy passengers trying to beat the system


To Suffolk cops, it was a dummy of an idea.

James Britt, 34, was driving in the HOV lane on the Long Island Expressway Monday when Officer Andrew Spina noticed the passenger looked unreal — decked out in a cap and sunglasses with the sleeves of a sweatshirt tied around the mouth, Suffolk police said.

The passenger turned out to be a mannequin in Britt’s eastbound Saturn when Spina pulled the car over about 4 p.m. by Exit 51 in Dix Hills, police said.

The mannequin had a huge ear on one side and a major flap of fake skin, along with two water bottles secured by the mannequin’s arms and resting in its lap.

It’s not the first time Spina noticed a fake passenger in the HOV lane, police said. In fact, the highway patrol officer stopped a driver by the same exit, but on the other side of the LIE, in July 2016. Piled clothing, topped by a baseball hat, and a briefcase in the passenger seat were all part of an attempt to resemble a person, and the driver was issued a summons, Suffolk police said at the time.

Britt, of Sunset Drive in Centereach, was issued a summons for HOV occupancy violations. He could not be immediately reached Monday night.

By Ellen Yan

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