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Driver puts skeleton in passenger seat to use MnPASS lane

The Minnesota State Patrol posted this picture of a skeleton in a hoodie on social media Friday, May 10, 2019. The driver of the car was cited in March for illegally using the MnPASS lane. (Courtesy of the MN State Patrol)

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — Some people will do anything to avoid traffic.

The Minnesota State Patrol posted a photo on social media Friday of a skeleton dressed in a purple Aéropostale hoodie sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle.

“We’ve heard of having skeletons in your closet. But skeletons in your passenger seat?” the post read.

The driver wanted to use a MnPASS lane, reserved for buses, motorcycles and carpoolers. Single drivers must purchase a device to be kept in their cars that deletes a fee from a prepaid account every time the lane is used. Commuters can often shave five to 10 minutes off their drive by using the MnPASS lane, and scofflaws who use the lane illegally face a $300 fine.

This driver wanted to appear that he was carpooling, so he dressed up a skeleton, hoping law enforcement would see the human form and believe he had a passenger with him. No doubt he got the idea online, where others have dressed up dummies, mannequins and dolls to do the same thing.

On March 25, on Interstate 35E in Maplewood, the motorist passed a State Patrol trooper who was not fooled.

“The trooper pulled over the driver, who had the skeleton buckled (improperly),” the State Patrol said in the post. “He was cited for illegally using the MnPASS lane.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, MnPASS lanes provide a solution for areas with high traffic volumes by pulling some of the congestion out of the other lanes and making it easier for buses to be on time.