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Some drivers will go to great lengths to cheat in order to use the MnPass lanes without having to pay.

That played out last month on I-35W in Richfield when a 39-year-old Otsego woman tried to make her purse look like a baby, the State Patrol said.

The woman was driving in the special lane that during peak periods is reserved for transit vehicles, motorcycles and carpools of two or more people. Infants and children do count as occupants, which qualifies drivers with little ones to legally use the express lanes, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

Solo drivers who pay to use the lanes also can use them.

But in this case, a state trooper had a MnDOT worker riding with him, and that sharp-eyed worker was able to see through the woman's ruse.

The woman had placed her large purse in the car seat in the back seat and covered it with blankets to make it look like a baby. She even mouthed the word "baby" as the trooper and MnDOT worker rolled by for a closer look.


"Your purse may be your prized possession, but it doesn't count as your 'baby," at least in the MnPass lane," the patrol said.

The woman was given a citation. A ticket can cost up to $300.