H. B. 2615
(By Delegates Love, Linch, Williams and Given)
[Passed March 9, 1996; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact sections two and seven, article one-
d, chapter seventeen-b of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; to amend and
reenact section five, article two of said chapter; to amend
and reenact section forty-four, article fifteen, chapter
seventeen-c of said code; and to amend and reenact section
three, article six, chapter eighteen of said code, all
relating to motorcycle safety education; requiring
motorcycle courses to be conducted; extending motorcycle
instruction permits; creation of motorcycle safety and
education committee; powers and duties of the committee;
authorizing the committee to make recommendations to the
division of motor vehicles on the expenditure of funds; and
motorcycle safety awareness in driver education courses.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections two and seven, article one-d, chapter
seventeen-b of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that
section five, article two of said chapter be amended and
reenacted; that section forty-four, article fifteen, chapter
seventeen-c of said code be amended and reenacted; and that
section three, article six, chapter eighteen of said code, be
amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 17B. MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVER'S LICENSES.
ARTICLE 1D. MOTORCYCLE SAFETY EDUCATION.
§17B-1D-2. Program established.
(a) The West Virginia motorcycle safety education program
is hereby established within the division to be administered by
the commissioner. The program shall include rider training
courses and instructor training courses. It may also include
efforts to enhance public motorcycle safety awareness, alcohol
and drug effects awareness for motorcyclists, driver improvement
efforts, licensing improvement efforts, program promotion and
other efforts to enhance motorcycle safety through education.
(b) The commissioner shall appoint a program coordinator
who shall oversee and direct the program, and conduct an annual
evaluation. Rider training courses shall be conducted annually
in no fewer than four sites throughout the state, commencing no later than the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred
§17B-1D-7. Motorcycle safety account.
(a) There is hereby created a special fund in the state
treasury which shall be designated the "motorcycle safety fund".
The fund shall consist of all moneys received from motorcycle
driver licensing fees except instruction permit fees, one half
of the moneys received from the motorcycle safety fee assessed
with each motorcycle registration under section three-b, article
ten, chapter seventeen-a of this code and any other moneys
specifically allocated to the fund. The fund shall not be
treated by the auditor and treasurer as part of the general
revenue of the state. The fund shall be a special revolving fund
to be used and paid out upon order of the commissioner of motor
vehicles, based upon the recommendations of the motorcycle
safety and education committee created under section forty-four,
article fifteen, chapter seventeen-c of this code, solely for
the purposes specified in this chapter.
(b) The fund shall be used by the division of motor
vehicles to defray the cost of implementing and administering
the motorcycle safety education program established in section
two of this article. Moneys in the special revolving fund may
also be used to defray the cost of implementing and administering the motorcycle driver licensing program.
ARTICLE 2. ISSUANCE OF LICENSE, EXPIRATION AND RENEWAL.
§17B-2-5. Qualifications, issuance and fee for instruction
(a) Any person who is at least fifteen years of age may
apply to the division for an instruction permit. The division
may, in its discretion, after the applicant has appeared before
the department of public safety and successfully passed all
parts of the examination other than the driving test and
presented documentation of compliance with the provisions of
section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code,
issue to the applicant an instruction permit which shall entitle
the applicant while having such permit in such person's
immediate possession to drive a motor vehicle upon the public
highways when accompanied by a licensed driver of at least
twenty-one years of age or a driver's education or driving
school instructor that is acting in an official capacity as an
instructor, who is occupying a seat beside the driver, except in
the event the permittee is operating a motorcycle, but in no
event shall the permittee be allowed to operate a motorcycle
upon a public highway until reaching sixteen years of age.
Any such instruction permit issued to a person under the
age of sixteen years shall expire sixty days after the permittee reaches sixteen years of age: Provided, That only permittees who
have reached their sixteenth birthday are eligible to take the
driving examination as provided in section six of this article.
The instruction permit may be renewed for one additional period
of sixty days. Any such permit issued to a person who has
reached the age of sixteen years shall be valid for a period of
sixty days and may be renewed for an additional period of sixty
days or a new permit issued. The fee for such instruction permit
shall be four dollars, one dollar of which shall be paid into
the state treasury and credited to the state road fund, and the
other three dollars of which shall be paid into the state
treasury and credited to the general fund to be appropriated to
the department of public safety for application in the
enforcement of the road law.
(b) Any person sixteen years of age or older may apply to
the division for a motorcycle instruction permit. The division
of motor vehicles may, in its discretion, after the applicant
has appeared before the division of public safety and
successfully passed all parts of the motorcycle examination
other than the driving test, and presented documentation of
compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight,
chapter eighteen of this code, issue to the applicant an
instruction permit which entitles the applicant while having such permit in such person's immediate possession to drive a
motorcycle upon the public streets or highways for a period of
ninety days, during the daylight hours between sunrise and
sunset only. No holder of a motorcycle instruction permit shall
operate a motorcycle while carrying any passenger on the
A motorcycle instruction permit is not renewable, but a
qualified applicant may apply for a new permit. The fee for a
motorcycle instruction permit shall be five dollars, which shall
be paid into a special fund in the state treasury known as the
motorcycle license examination fund as established in section
seven-c, article two of this chapter.
CHAPTER 17C. TRAFFIC REGULATIONS AND LAWS OF THE ROAD.
ARTICLE 15. EQUIPMENT.
§17C-15-44. Safety equipment and requirements for
motorcyclists, motorcycles, motor-driven cycles
and mopeds; motorcycle safety standards and
(a) No person shall operate or be a passenger on any
motorcycle or motor-driven cycle unless the person is wearing
securely fastened on his or her head by either a neck or chin
strap a protective helmet designed to deflect blows, resist
penetration and spread impact forces. Any helmet worn by an operator or passenger shall meet the current performance
specifications established by the American National Standards
Institute Standard, Z 90.1, the United States Department of
Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218 or
Snell Safety Standards for Protective Headgear for Vehicle
(b) No person shall operate or be a passenger on any
motorcycle or motor-driven cycle unless the person is wearing
safety, shatter-resistant eyeglasses (excluding contact lenses),
or eyegoggles or face shield that complies with the performance
specifications established by the American National Standards
Institute for Head, Eye and Respiratory Protection, Z 2.1. In
addition, if any motorcycle, motor-driven cycle or moped is
equipped with a windshield or windscreen, the windshield or
windscreen shall be constructed of safety, shatter-resistant
material that complies with the performance specifications
established by Department of Transportation Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205 and American National Standards
Institute, Safety Glazing Materials for Glazing Motor Vehicles
Operated on Land Highways, Standard Z 26.1.
(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle, motor-driven
cycle or moped on which the handlebars or grips are more than
fifteen inches higher than the uppermost part of the operator's seat when the seat is not depressed in any manner.
(d) A person operating a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle or
moped shall ride in a seated position facing forward and only
upon a permanent operator's seat attached to the vehicle. No
operator shall carry any other person nor shall any other person
ride on the vehicle unless the vehicle is designed to carry more
than one person, in which event a passenger may ride behind the
operator upon the permanent operator's seat if it is designed
for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the
vehicle to the rear of the operator's seat and equipped with
footrests designed and located for use by the passenger or in a
sidecar firmly attached to the vehicle. No person shall ride
side saddle on a seat. An operator may carry as many passengers
as there are seats and footrests to accommodate those
passengers. Additional passengers may be carried in a factory
produced sidecar provided that there is one passenger per seat.
Passengers riding in a sidecar shall be restrained by safety
(e) Every motorcycle, motor-driven cycle and moped shall be
equipped with a rearview mirror affixed to the handlebars or
fairings and adjusted so that the operator shall have a clear
view of the road and condition of traffic behind him for a
distance of at least two hundred feet.
(f) There is hereby created a six member motorcycle safety
and education committee consisting of: The superintendent of the
state police or a designee; the commissioner of motor vehicles
or a designee; the director of the West Virginia safety council
or a designee; a licensed motorcycle operator; an owner of a
motorcycle dealership; and a supplier of aftermarket
nonfranchised motorcycle supplies. The nongovernmental
representatives shall be appointed by the governor with the
advice and consent of the Senate, shall serve without
compensation, and the terms shall be for three years, except
that as to the members first appointed, one shall be appointed
for a term of one year, one shall be appointed for a term of two
years and one shall be appointed for a term of three years.
Members may be reappointed to the committee.
The committee shall continue to exist pursuant to the
provisions of article ten, chapter four of this code until the
first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, to
allow for the completion of a preliminary performance review by
the joint committee on government operations.
The committee is hereby authorized to recommend to the
superintendent of public safety types and makes of protective
helmets, eye protection devices and equipment offered for sale,
purchased or used by any person. The committee is authorized to make recommendations to the commissioner of motor vehicles
regarding the use of the moneys in the motorcycle safety fund
created under section seven, article one-d, chapter seventeen-b
of this code.
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.
ARTICLE 6. DRIVER EDUCATION.
§18-6-3. State board to establish minimum course standards;
students with mental or physical defects; minimum
(a) The state board of education shall establish minimum
standards for all driver education courses offered and made
available to persons within the state, regardless of whether the
courses are offered by public, private, parochial,
denominational or commercial schools, but no person shall be
permitted to enroll in any driver education course who has a
known mental or physical defect that would prevent the person
from qualifying for an operator's license, unless the mental or
physical defect is controlled or corrected so the person could
(b) The minimum standards shall provide at least that:
(1) All driver education courses offered within the state
are taught by instructors certified by the state board as
qualified for these purposes.
(2) Each person enrolled in a driver education course shall
receive practice driving and observation in a dual control
automobile and instruction in at least the following:
(A) Basic and advanced driving techniques, including
techniques for handling emergencies.
(B) Traffic regulations and laws of the road as provided in
chapter seventeen-c of this code, and other applicable state and
local laws and ordinances.
(C) Critical mechanical parts of vehicles requiring
preventive maintenance for safety.
(D) The vehicle, highway and community features that aid
the driver in avoiding crashes; protect him and his passengers
in crashes; and maximize the salvage of the injured.
(E) Signs, signals, highway markings and highway design
features which require understanding for safe operation of motor
(F) Differences in characteristics of urban and rural
driving, including safe use of modern expressways.
(G) Pedestrian safety.
(H) Motorcycle safety awareness.
(c) In addition, in driver education courses participating
students shall be encouraged to acquire first aid skills.