Why Can't Pets Qualify for the Carpool Lane?
Why is it that a 5 month old, 12lb infant, who is unable to crawl, roll-over or sit up, let alone make facial expressions, qualifies as a carpool passenger, yet my 55 pound dog, Zazou, who has a vocabulary 80+ words and excellent hand-eye-paw coordination does not qualify as a carpool passenger? Why? Why the injustice?
As a resident of Southern California who spends countless hours in gridlocked, mind-numbing traffic, I have pondered this thought endlessly as I watch soccer moms whiz by at 80MPH in the carpool lane with their drooling bundle of joy babbling to themselves in the back car-seat. How can this be? My dogs have the combined intelligence of a fifth grader, yet we're sitting like chumps going a total of 3MPH in the fast lane. The injustice!
What's the Real Deal?
Wondering if anyone else shared my sentiment, I had a chat with Officer Harris of the Los Angeles California Highway Patrol (CHP). The conversation went as follows:
Me: "Uh, Hi - Why i
s it that a drooling 4 month old baby, who doesn't even know what a car is, qualifies as a carpool passenger but my 55 lb four-legged-family-member, who does know what a car is,
does not qualify?
: "How about a van with 10 dogs in it? Is that considered a carpool?"
"Uh, hold please."
Listens to Neil Diamond's "Cracklin' Rosie" while on hold for 5 minutes, convinced Officer Harris is waiting for yours truly hang up or just go away.
Officer Harris eventually comes back to the phone and reads to me the actual CHP Code that asserts that carpool passengers must be an actual person
. But he does go on to say that he indeed agrees with my sentiment that pets are indeed like people and bonafide family members who frankly deserve to be considered carpool passengers...it just "...won't happen in our lifetime." Oh well, I tried!
What do you think? Should our pets qualify as carpool passengers?