PORTLAND, Ore. - Scarlett Zibritovsky thinks the police officer who gave her a ticket for an HOV lane violation on Thursday got a chuckle out of the situation.
But a giant stuffed teddy bear? Named Zeff? Now that is different.
"I'm rolling by in my car, driving, and I turn and I see this motorcycle cop and I have this huge smile on my face and I was like 'yep, I am getting a ticket right now,'" Zibritovsky said. "I think he chuckled under his helmet. He had to have."
She said the police officer even took a photo of the bear, which was buckled into the front passenger seat.
Zibritovsky, who lives in Vancouver, said she's been cleaning out some possessions and her beloved Zeff has been riding around in her car for about a month.
"I'll have him in my car in case I do stop at Goodwill, or maybe give it to a little kid or somebody" rather than have the bear take up closet space, she said.
"He was in the back seat for awhile," she said. "I thought it might make my car cuter if he was riding in front with me, so...."
Zibritovsky said she was in a hurry to get home and pack for a camping trip when she moved into the HOV lane with Zeff riding happily in the passenger seat.
The officer gave her a ticket for $260 for failure to obey a traffic control device (the HOV lane).
Zibritovsky admits she thought she might get away with using the HOV lane with her fuzzy passenger but said she really is more of a Good Samaritan.
"I don't normally break the law," she said.
She said she plans to go to court and hopes to have her fine reduced.