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Introduced Version House Bill 2352 History

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hb2352 intr
H. B. 2352


(By Delegates Stalnaker, H. White and Talbott)
[Introduced February 15, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Banking and Insurance then the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §17D-2A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to authorizing the police to impound a motor vehicle and auction it to the highest bidder in the event the owner of the motor vehicle has been convicted of driving with no insurance three or more times; providing for the use of funds collected from the sale of impounded motor vehicles; requiring seizing authorities to turn over leftover funds to the State Treasurer; creating a fund to be administered by the State Treasurer in concert with the Superintendent of the State Police to be used to compensate victims of uninsured and underinsured motorists; directing the State Treasurer and the State Police to propose rules for legislative approval designed to administer the fund in accordance with the fund's intended purpose; and, prohibiting operators of motor vehicles who do not have insurance coverage from instituting lawsuits for damages.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17D-2A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2A. SECURITY UPON MOTOR VEHICLES.

§17D-2A-3. Required security; exceptions.

Every owner or registrant of a motor vehicle required to be registered and licensed in this State shall maintain security as hereinafter provided in effect continuously throughout the registration or licensing period except in case of a periodic use or seasonal vehicle, in which case the owner or registrant is required to maintain security upon the vehicle only for the portion of the year the vehicle is in actual use. As used in this section, a periodic use or seasonal vehicle means a recreational vehicle, antique motor vehicle, motorcycle or other motor vehicle which is stored part of the year and used seasonally.
Every nonresident owner or registrant of a motor vehicle, which is operated upon any road or highway of this State, and which has been physically present within this State for more than thirty days during the preceding three hundred sixty-five days, shall thereafter maintain security as hereinafter provided in effect continuously throughout the period such motor vehicle remains within this State.
No person shall knowingly drive or operate upon any road or highway in this State any motor vehicle upon which security is required by the provisions of this article unless such security is in effect.
Such security shall be provided by one of the following methods:
(a) By an insurance policy delivered or issued for the delivery in this State by an insurance company authorized to issue vehicle liability and property insurance policies in this State within limits which shall be no less than the requirements of section two, article four, chapter seventeen-d of this code; or
(b) By any other method approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles of this State as affording security equivalent to that offered by a policy of insurance, including qualification as a self-insurer under the provisions of section two, article six, chapter seventeen-d; or
(c) By depositing with the State Treasurer such cash or other securities in the manner set forth in section sixteen, article four, chapter seventeen-d of this code.
The requirements of this section apply to every registered and licensed vehicle upon the next application for renewal of license following the effective date of this section: Provided, That this article shall not apply to any motor vehicle owned by the State or by a political subdivision of this State, nor to any motor vehicle owned by the federal government.
(d) Upon sufficient proof that a person has been convicted three or more times of knowingly operating a vehicle upon any road or highway in this State without the security required by this article, the arresting authority whose activity led to the third or subsequent conviction is hereby authorized to seize the person's motor vehicle in which the person committed the offense and sell it at public auction. The seizing authority shall publish notice of the auction by Class II notice, stating the time and place for the auction. The motor vehicle shall be sold to the highest bidder at the time of the auction. Any sums received from the sale shall cover the cost of impoundment fees and costs associated with the holding of the auction. Any remaining funds shall be turned over by the seizing authority to the State Treasurer who shall deposit the funds into the "Accident Victims Fund" hereby created.
(e) The State Treasurer shall administer the Accident Victims Fund created under subsection (d) of this section in conjunction with the Superintendent of the State Police, to be used to compensate victims of motor vehicle accidents in the event inadequate uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage exists to make a victim whole from injuries received in a motor vehicle accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The State Treasurer in concert with the Superintendent of the State Police shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code designed to administer the fund to insure a reasonable rate of return, financial solvency of the fund and to otherwise implement the intended purpose of compensating victims of uninsured and underinsured motorists.
(f) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no person, regardless of fault, who operates a motor vehicle in this State without the security required by this section, may institute or maintain any legal action for damages.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
authorize the police to impound a motor vehicle and auction it to the highest bidder in the event the driver of the vehicle has been convicted of driving without insurance three or more times. The bill also provides for the use of funds collected from the sale of impounded cars while prohibiting operators of motor vehicles who do not have insurance coverage from instituting lawsuits for damages.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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