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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 18- CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.
WVC 18 - 6 - ARTICLE 6. DRIVER EDUCATION.

WVC 18 - 6 - 1 §18-6-1. Purpose and objectives of article.
The purpose of this article is to ensure that every secondary school pupil has the opportunity, at or about the time he reaches licensing age, to enroll in a course of driver education designed to train him to drive skillfully and safely under all traffic and roadway conditions and circumstances; to make the driver education course available to out-of-school youths and to adults; and to ensure that commercial driver education schools achieve and maintain a level of driver education equal to the minimum standards that are prescribed for secondary schools.

WVC 18 - 6 - 2 §18-6-2. Where provided; implementation deadlines; priorities for course availability.
No later than the first day of the public school term beginning in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-three, there shall be offered in all public secondary schools within the state an approved, comprehensive course in driver education.

As the first priority, the driver education course shall be made available at no cost to all secondary school pupils at or about the time they reach licensing age.

As the second priority, the driver education course shall be made available to all persons who do not attend secondary schools who have reached their sixteenth birthday and are under eighteen years of age. County boards of education may require the persons described in this paragraph who enroll in a public secondary school driver education course to pay tuition not to exceed fifty dollars.

As the third priority, the driver education course shall be made available to all persons who do not attend secondary school who are eighteen years of age or older, but first consideration for persons in this age group shall be given to those who are applying for their first operator's license. County boards of education may require the persons described in this paragraph who enroll in a public secondary school driver education course to pay tuition not to exceed seventy-five dollars.

In those counties where sufficient public secondary school driver education courses are not available to meet all requests for the course, county boards of education shall, as quickly as possible, make sufficient courses available to fill those requests.

WVC 18 - 6 - 3 §18-6-3. State board to establish minimum course standards; students with mental or physical defects; minimum standards specified.
(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 so qualify.

(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; and

(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 or her and his or her 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 vehicles;

(F) Differences in characteristics of urban and rural driving, including safe use of modern expressways;

(G) Pedestrian safety; and

(H) Motorcycle safety awareness in a program which shall include, but not be limited to, ensuring that the driver has knowledge and awareness of motorcycles sharing the roads of this state for the safety of motorcyclists.

(c) In addition, in driver education courses, participating students shall be encouraged to acquire first aid skills.

WVC 18 - 6 - 4 §18-6-4. Rules and regulations.
In accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the state board shall, with the advice of the state superintendent and the superintendent of the department of public safety, adopt rules and regulations governing the establishment, conduct and scope of driver education for use in the public, private, parochial and denominational secondary schools located within this state, subject to the requirements and exceptions set forth in this article.

WVC 18 - 6 - 5 §18-6-5. Establishment and maintenance of driver education course; who may enroll; exemption from learner's permit requirement; non-permit student drivers.
The state superintendent shall promote and direct the establishment and maintenance of courses of instruction in driver education in secondary schools in accordance with the provisions of this article and the rules that the state board adopts pursuant to section four of this article. Directors, trustees or other persons having control or authority over private, parochial or denominational secondary schools, who establish and maintain the courses in the schools under their control or supervision, shall comply with the rules that the state board adopts pursuant to section four of this article.

In the case of a pupil who will not reach the age of fifteen years before completion of the driver education course in which enrolled, instruction shall be limited to the classroom. Pupils who are fifteen years of age and older shall receive instruction and practical training in the operation of motor vehicles on the public streets and highways.

Notwithstanding section three-a, article two, chapter seventeen-b of this code, any student who is at least fifteen years of age and is enrolled in a driver education course in accordance with the provisions of this article and the rules that the state board adopts pursuant to section four of this article, may operate a motor vehicle on the roadways of West Virginia while accompanied by a certified driver education teacher.

WVC 18 - 6 - 6 §18-6-6. Expenditure of school funds for driver education courses; appropriations.
County boards of education, subject to the rules and regulations of the state board, may expend school funds to maintain and repair vehicles used for instructional purposes, to purchase fuel, lubricants, parts and accessories therefor, to pay the compensation of teachers or instructors and to procure automobile insurance, where the expenditures are for the purpose of establishing or maintaining driver education courses in public secondary schools pursuant to this article. These expenditures, including compensation of teachers or instructors, may be made over a period of twelve months.

Each county board of education shall receive from funds specially appropriated for the driver education courses provided in public secondary schools a sum which shall be proportionate to the total amount available for distribution for that purpose to all county boards in the state in the ratio which the number of pupils who are enrolled in driver education courses in public secondary schools in the county bears to the total number of pupils who are enrolled in driver education courses in all public secondary schools within the state, but the payment shall not exceed the sum of thirty-five dollars for each such pupil per school year.

WVC 18 - 6 - 7 §18-6-7. Automobile liability insurance covering vehicles used in driver education.
County boards of education shall procure or require automobile liability insurance in the amount the state board shall prescribe covering motor vehicles owned or operated for driver education courses. The board having control of the financial and business affairs of any other state educational institution which offers driver education courses shall procure or require automobile liability insurance in like amount covering motor vehicles owned or operated for any driver education course. The insurance shall be against any liability arising out of the use of vehicles in connection with any driver education course.

WVC 18 - 6 - 8 §18-6-8. Driver education course to be made available to all secondary school pupils prior to their graduation; exemption; application by pupil for unrestricted operator's license.

Before any pupil is graduated from a secondary school after the first day of September, one thousand nine hundred seventy-five, he or she shall first be provided an opportunity and encouraged to successfully complete a driver education course approved by the state board in a public, private, parochial or denominational secondary school within the state. If a pupil has successfully completed a similar course in a secondary school of another state and the course is accepted by the state board as adequately meeting and complying with the course standards established by the state board, then the aforementioned requirement shall be deemed fulfilled regarding that pupil.

On or before December thirty-first, two thousand, any secondary school pupil sixteen years of age or older, but under eighteen years of age, who has successfully completed a driver education course approved by the state board in a public, private, parochial or denominational secondary school within the state or a similar course in a secondary school of another state and accepted by the state board as adequately meeting and complying with the course standards established by the state board, shall, upon proper application and successful completion of all examination and driving tests required by law for issuance of an operator's license to a person eighteen years of age or older, be issued an operator's license without any restriction rather than the junior or probationary operator's license provided for in section three, article two, chapter seventeen-b of this code. On or after the first day of January, two thousand one, any secondary school pupil sixteen years of age or older, but under eighteen years of age, who has successfully completed a driver education course approved by the state board in a public, private, parochial or denominational secondary school within the state or a similar course in a secondary school of another state and accepted by the state board as adequately meeting and complying with the course standards established by the state board, shall be exempted from submitting a sworn affidavit certified by the parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult over the age of twenty-one that the applicant has successfully completed the minimum number of hours of behind-the-wheel training as provided in section three-a, article two, chapter seventeen-b of the code.

WVC 18 - 6 - 9 §18-6-9. Commercial driver education schools -- Course of instruction; issuance and renewal of license; fee; application for license; inspections and revocation of license; lists of schools offering approved courses.
The state board shall prescribe a course of instruction for commercial driver education schools in West Virginia. The requirements and quality of the course of instruction prescribed for commercial driver education schools shall be at least equal to the minimum standards that are prescribed for secondary schools. The state superintendent shall issue licenses to commercial driver education schools which offer courses of instruction in driver education which comply with the course of study approved by the state board.

A fee of fifty dollars shall be charged by the state superintendent for the issuance of any such license, which may be renewed annually, for a fee of fifty dollars, so long as the licensee complies with the requirements of this article. Sums so received shall be deposited into the state treasury and credited to an account of the department of education for the administration of the provisions of this article.

An application for a license to operate a licensed commercial driver education school shall be made upon an official form prescribed by the state superintendent, and licenses shall be granted only when the state superintendent is satisfied that the school offers a course of driver education which complies with the requirements approved by the state board.

The state superintendent shall periodically cause an inspection to be made of all licensed schools. He shall revoke and require the surrender of the license of any school that fails to achieve and maintain the minimum course standards prescribed therefor or that he finds is not conducting a driver education course that is in conformity with the requirements approved by the state board.

The state superintendent shall maintain, file and make available at his office and at other places he selects lists of all public and nonpublic schools offering approved courses of driver education and all commercial schools holding licenses and those whose licenses have been revoked. The state superintendent shall keep the list current and shall furnish a copy of the list to the commissioner of motor vehicles and to the commissioner of insurance.

WVC 18 - 6 - 10 §18-6-10. Same -- Posting of licenses; assignment or transfer; certificates to persons completing course; maximum tuition fee.
No license for a commercial driver education school shall be assigned, transferred or used at any location other than that therein designated, and every license shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the school location designated.

Persons operating a licensed school shall issue a certificate upon an official form prescribed by the state superintendent to persons completing its driver education course. A record shall be kept of every certificate so issued.

Tuition of not more than one hundred dollars may be charged by a licensed commercial driver education school for each person enrolled therein.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.

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