(a) On and after July one, one thousand nine hundred eighty-two, common carriers by motor vehicles engaged in the business of towing, hauling or carrying wrecked or disabled vehicles shall, notwithstanding any other provision of the laws of the state of West Virginia to the contrary, be regulated by the provisions of this section and this section shall not be applicable to said carriers until such date.
(b) No common carrier by motor vehicle engaged in the business of towing, hauling or carrying wrecked or disabled vehicles and mobile homes shall be required to obtain a common carrier certificate or other certificate of authority from the commission prior to engaging in such business, however, such carrier shall not engage in such business unless and until such carrier shall have registered as a carrier with the commission in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(c) A person may not act as a common carrier by motor vehicle by engaging in the business of towing, hauling or carrying wrecked or disabled motor vehicles for hire unless that person has registered as a carrier with the public service commission as provided in this section; nor, may a person continue to act as a carrier by engaging in the business of towing, hauling or carrying wrecked or disabled motor vehicles for hire if his registration is revoked or suspended by the commission. A person registered as a carrier under the provisions of this section may not charge, demand, collect or receive a greater remuneration for the towing, hauling or carrying of any wrecked or disabled motor vehicle than the rates, fares and charges established by the provisions of this section.
The commission shall register all carriers as may make application for registration as a common carrier by motor vehicle for the purpose of engaging in the business of towing, hauling or carrying wrecked or disabled motor vehicles for hire upon satisfactory evidence to the commission that the carrier has complied with all applicable requirements of this chapter and all applicable rules and regulations of the commission. The commission shall by general order, applicable to all carriers registered under this section, fix, alter and determine just, fair, reasonable and sufficient maximum statewide or regional schedules of rates, fares and charges, and it shall establish reasonable classifications of carriers for which the schedules are applicable, but before the rates, fares and charges are fixed, altered or determined, the commission shall hold hearings in order to give all interested parties an opportunity to be heard, and it shall give reasonable notice of the hearings in the manner as the commission shall by rule prescribe. Carriers registered under the provisions of this section are subject to the regulatory powers of the commission as provided in section three of this article.
Upon the complaint of any aggrieved party, the commission may suspend or revoke the registration of any person registered with the commission under the provisions of this section for the violation of any rule or regulation established by the commission and applicable to that person or for the violation of any provision of this article applicable to persons registered under the provisions of this section: Provided, That for the first violation, suspension of registration shall be for a period of not more than thirty days; and, for a second violation the commission may revoke the registration for a period of one year; and, for a third violation the commission may revoke the registration permanently. But before any suspension or revocation is effected, the person registered under this section shall first be given reasonable notice of the charges against him and shall be granted an opportunity to be heard by the commission or its designee in accordance with the rules and regulations for hearings as may be by rule established by the commission.
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