H. B. 2853
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss and Delegates Michael,
Kominar, Mahan, Varner, Barker and Moore)
[Introduced March 3, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Roads and Transportation then Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §17-2D-1, §17-2D-2,
§17-2D-3 and §17-2D-4, all relating to the West Virginia
Courtesy Patrol; providing a purpose; addressing the operation
and scope of the courtesy patrol program; and providing
education services to courtesy patrol participants after
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §17-2D-1, §17-2D-2,
§17-2D-3 and §17-2D-4, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2D. THE WEST VIRGINIA COURTESY PATROL PROGRAM.
The West Virginia Legislature recognizes the need to provide
assistance to motorists who are stranded on four-lane expressways in the state, especially in the rural areas, from a safety
perspective, in addition to remaining positioned to continue
intelligent transportation systems applications, and meet the
state's Homeland Security and Amber Alert initiatives. We also
recognize the need to find innovative ways to transition welfare
recipients into self-sufficient roles in the private sector.
In nineteen hundred ninety-eight, as a result of Senate
Resolution No. 30, the West Virginia Division of Highways
reinitiated a courtesy patrol program which provides assistance to
stranded motorists traveling the state's controlled access
expressways and to remove obstacles in the traveled way which
create safety hazards to drivers. An additional benefit of the
patrol is the assistance provided to law enforcement and emergency
personnel at accident scenes; preventing secondary accidents,
additional property damage and additional injuries. Courtesy
patrol drivers are also first responders certified in CPR and first
A task force formed to implement the program recommended the
service be provided by a private contractor and to require the
operators to be welfare to work participants.
Several state agencies partnered with the Division of Highways
to implement the program and write the program requirements for the
contract, which was advertised for competitive bids. They include:
Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau of Employment Programs, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of
Administration-Purchasing Division, Bureau of Commerce-Tourism
Division, Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety-State
Police, and the Department of Education.
The Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia, a nonprofit
corporation has operated the West Virginia courtesy patrol since
its inception. The courtesy patrol program has been a great
success for the State of West Virginia and has accomplished and
continues to accomplish the goals of the program. The West
Virginia courtesy patrol is identified by the United States
Department of Labor as a national model for best practices on
innovative approaches to job creation with welfare recipients
transitioning into the work force. The program possesses one of
the highest job retention percentages in the country for a
transitional program of the type. To that extent, the West
Virginia Legislature expresses a desire to continue the courtesy
patrol program in its current form.
§17-2D-2. Operation and scope of the courtesy patrol program.
(a) The courtesy patrol program will continue in its current
form and will remain under the Division of Highways.
(b) The courtesy patrol program will be operated by a
nonprofit corporation, under contract with the Division of
(c) The nonprofit corporation chosen to operate the courtesy patrol program must offer AmeriCorps educational awards to
qualified program participants.
(d) The courtesy patrol program will continuously patrol a
designated area of highway looking for and providing assistance to
disabled vehicles and stranded motorists. The patrol units will
also watch for debris in the roadway, spilled loads, accidents,
obstructions to traffic and other potential hazards or abnormal
occurrences, notify appropriate highway and enforcement personnel
of the location and nature of the situation, monitor bridges,
overlooks, and interchanges for suspicious activity, and continue
its role in the state's Amber Alert System for abducted children.
(e) Each year, the Commissioner shall request in the budget
for the Division of Highways that the Legislature appropriate funds
for the courtesy patrol program.
(f) The Division of Highways is required to continue funding
to furnish the fleet of vehicles to operate the courtesy patrol
program, to continue funding of other proper motor vehicles as
needed, and to continue the funding of other required materials to
be used by the work force created by this section in the operation
of the courtesy patrol.
(g) The Division of Highways shall provide all necessary
equipment for the courtesy patrol trucks to accomplish the goals of
(h) The Division of Highways shall provide all of the gasoline necessary for the operations of the courtesy patrol.
§17-2D-3. Program Participants.
(a) The courtesy patrol will utilize participants who receive
governmental assistance and benefits and noncustodial parents of
children who receive governmental assistance thereby reducing the
number of individuals receiving such benefits in addition to
providing job training and educational benefits to participants.
(b) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall refer
eligible and qualified individuals to the courtesy patrol program.
(c) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall ensure
that individuals who are referred to the courtesy patrol program
have received certain minimum job readiness training, as determined
by the nonprofit corporation chosen to operate the courtesy patrol
program prior to being employed in the courtesy patrol program.
(d) The Department of Health and Human Resources is
responsible for any expenses for personal equipment required for
the courtesy patrol participants for employment in the courtesy
patrol program. The personal equipment will include, but not be
limited to, uniforms and pagers.
(e) The Department of Health and Human Resources may use
funding from any source to meet the requirements of the previous
subsection, including accounts designated as personal accounts for
the program participants.
(f) The Department of Health and Human Resources may use private contractors, including the nonprofit corporation chosen to
operate the courtesy patrol program to provide the job readiness
training required in subsection (c), section three, article two-d
of this chapter.
(g) No participant in the courtesy patrol program will be
considered to be an employee of the nonprofit corporation chosen to
operate the courtesy patrol program until they have completed the
job readiness training required in subsection (c), section three,
article two-d of this chapter, and have been accepted for
employment by the nonprofit corporation.
(h) The courtesy patrol program is designed as a transitional
employment opportunity for the participants where the participants
are employed for two years while they gain the skills necessary to
become employable outside the courtesy patrol program.
(i) The program participants will receive at least minimum
wage for time spent working in the courtesy patrol program after
the participants become employed.
§17-2D-4. Education services to courtesy patrol participants after
(a) All participants in the courtesy patrol program shall
participate in educational services designed to make the
participants self-sufficient and employable after leaving the
courtesy patrol program.
(b) After a participant becomes employed in the courtesy patrol program, the nonprofit corporation chosen to operate the
courtesy patrol program shall refer each participant to the
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College for
(c) Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
shall develop an individualized education plan for each
(d) No program participant will be required to participate in
more than six hours of educational services per week.
(e) The time spent by participants in educational services is
not considered time spent working for which wages are payable.
However, any time spent in the educational services described in
this section will count toward the satisfaction of the work
requirements of section seven, article nine, chapter nine of this
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to continue the courtesy
patrol program in its current form, to be administered by a
nonprofit organization that can also offer qualified participants
AmeriCorps educational grants.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.