Senate Bill No. 37
(By Senators Rowe, Hunter and Oliverio)
[Introduced January 8, 2003; referred to the Committee on
A BILL to amend and reenact section forty-six, article fifteen,
chapter seventeen-c of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to child
passenger safety devices in automobiles; providing age and
weight prescriptions under the section; and providing that
children twelve years or younger shall be secured in the back
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section forty-six, article fifteen, chapter seventeen-c
of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15. EQUIPMENT.
§17C-15-46. Child passenger safety device required.
(a) Every driver who transports a child under the age of nine
years in a passenger automobile, van or pickup truck other than one operated for hire, shall, while such motor vehicle is in motion and
operated on a street or highway of this state, provide for the
such the child by properly placing, maintaining and
securing such the child in a child passenger safety device position
system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Provided, That if such child is between the age of three and eight
both inclusive, a vehicle seat belt shall be sufficient to meet the
requirements of this section(1) For children three years of age and younger, or weighing
less than forty pounds regardless of age, a child passenger seat
restraint system must be used.
(2) For children four years old but younger than eighteen
years of age, weighing forty pounds or more, a properly adjusted
safety lap belt and harness may be used.
(3) All children twelve years old or younger shall be properly
secured as provided above, in the rear seat of any motor vehicle
equipped with a rear seat, unless all available rear seats are in
use by other children.
(b) Any person who violates any provision of this section is
guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
fined not less than
ten fifty dollars nor more than twenty two
hundred dollars. The provisions of section one-a, article eleven-a
and section three, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code
do not apply to any person convicted of a violation of this section.
(c) A violation of this section
shall may not be deemed
considered by virtue of such the violation to constitute evidence
of negligence or contributory negligence or comparative negligence
in any civil action or proceeding for damages.
(d) If any provision of this section or the application
thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid,
invalidity shall does not affect other provisions or applications
of this section, and to this end the subsections of this section
are declared to be severable.
If all seat belts in a vehicle are being used at the time of
examination by a law officer and the vehicle contains more
passengers than the total number of seat belts or other safety
devices as installed in compliance with federal motor vehicle
safety standards, the driver shall not be considered as violating
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to set forth specific age
and weight prescriptions for child passengers in motor vehicles
relative to mandatory restraint and safety procedures.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would