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Enrolled Version - Final Version Senate Bill 354 History

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SB354 SUB1 enr
ENROLLED

COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 354

(Senators Kessler and Unger, original sponsors)

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[Passed March 8, 2010; in effect ninety days from passage.]

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AN ACT to amend and reenact §17C-4-1, §17C-4-2, §17C-4-3, §17C-4-5, §17C-4-6, §17C-4-7, §17C-4-8, §17C-4-9, §17C-4-10, §17C-4-11, §17C-4-14, §17C-4-15 and §17C-4-16 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to reporting crashes to a law-enforcement agency; updating certain terminology; increasing property damage notification threshold; setting penalties for certain crashes; updating law-enforcement reporting requirements; and changing responsibility for receiving reports and preparation of reports to the Division of Highways.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-4-1, §17C-4-2, §17C-4-3, §17C-4-5, §17C-4-6, §17C-4-7, §17C-4-8, §17C-4-9, §17C-4-10, §17C-4-11, §17C-4-14, §17C-4-15 and §17C-4-16 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. CRASHES.
§17C-4-1. Crashes involving death or personal injuries.

(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to and shall remain at the scene of the crash until he or she has complied with the requirements of section three of this article: Provided, That the driver may leave the scene of the crash as may reasonably be necessary for the purpose of rendering assistance to an injured person as required by said section three. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(b) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this section after being involved in a crash resulting in the death of any person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by confinement in a correctional facility for not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000, or both.
(c) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this section after being involved in a crash resulting in physical injury to any person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by confinement in a regional jail for not more than one year, or fined not more than $1,000, or both.
(d) The commissioner shall revoke the driver's license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of any person convicted pursuant to the provisions of this section for a period of one year.
§17C-4-2. Crashes involving damage to vehicle.

The driver of any vehicle involved in
a crash resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such crash or as close thereto as possible but shall forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such crash until he has fulfilled the requirements of section three of this article. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. Any person failing to stop or comply with said requirements under such circumstances is guilty of a misdemeanor and, subject to the penalties prescribed in section one, article eighteen of this chapter.
§17C-4-3. Duty to give information and render aid.
The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall give his or her name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her driver's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with and shall render to any person injured in such crash reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making arrangements for the carrying of such person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.
§17C-4-5. Duty upon striking fixtures upon a highway.
The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting only in damage to fixtures or other property legally upon or adjacent to a highway shall take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of such property of such fact and of his or her name and address and of the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her driver's license and shall make report of such crash when and as required in section seven of this article. Any person failing to make the notification required by this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $150.
§17C-4-6. Immediate notification of crashes.
The driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more shall immediately by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such crash to the local police department if such crash occurs within a municipality, otherwise to the office of the county sheriff or the nearest office of the West Virginia State Police.
§17C-4-7. Reports of crashes.
(a) Every law-enforcement officer who, in the regular course of duty, investigates a motor vehicle crash occurring on the public streets or highways of this state resulting in bodily injury to or death of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more shall, either at the time of and at the scene of the crash or thereafter by interviewing participants or witnesses, within twenty-four hours after completing such investigation, prepare report of such crash either electronically or in writing.
(b) The investigating law-enforcement officer shall submit the report electronically or in writing within twenty-four hours after completing the investigation to the Division of Highways in the form and manner approved by the Commissioner of Highways, the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Division of Highways shall supply electronic or paper copies of such form to police departments, sheriffs and other appropriate law-enforcement agencies.
(c) In the event that the investigating law-enforcement officer can not complete the investigation within ten days of the crash, he or she shall submit a preliminary report of the crash to the Division of Highways on the tenth day after the crash and submit the final report within twenty-four hours of completion of the investigation pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
§17C-4-8. When driver unable to report.
Whenever the driver of a vehicle is physically incapable of making an immediate notification of a crash as required in section six of this article and there was another occupant in the vehicle at the time of the crash capable of making a notification, such occupant shall make or cause to be made said notification not made by the driver.
§17C-4-9. Crash report forms.
(a) The Division of Highways shall prepare and upon request supply to the State Police, municipal police departments, sheriffs, Division of Natural Resources, and other suitable agencies or individuals, electronic or paper forms for crash reports required hereunder.
(b) The format of the crash reports shall provide sufficiently detailed information to disclose with reference to a traffic crash the cause, conditions then existing, and the persons and vehicles involved.
(c) Every crash report required to be made shall be made in the appropriate form provided by the Division of Highways and shall contain all of the information required therein unless not available.
(d) Every such report shall also contain information sufficient to enable the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to determine whether the requirements for security upon motor vehicles is in effect in accordance with chapter seventeen-d of this code.
§17C-4-10. Penalty for failure to notify law enforcement.
The commissioner may suspend the driver's license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privileges of any person failing to notify law enforcement of a crash as herein provided under section six of this article. Any person convicted of failing to notify law enforcement as required herein shall be punished as provided in section one, article eighteen of this chapter.
§17C-4-11. Coroners to report on crash victims.

Every coroner or other official performing like functions shall on or before the tenth day of each month report in writing to the Division of Highways the death of any person within his or her jurisdiction during the preceding calendar month as the result of a traffic crash giving the name of the victim, the date, time and place of the crash and the circumstances relating thereto.

§17C-4-14. Division of Highways to tabulate and analyze crash reports.

The
Division of Highways shall tabulate and may analyze all crash reports and shall publish annually, or at more frequent intervals, statistical information based thereon as to the number and circumstances of traffic crashes.
§17C-4-15. Any incorporated city, town, etc., may require crash reports.

Any incorporated city, town, village or other municipality may by ordinance require that the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash shall file with a designated city department a report of such crash. All such reports shall be for the confidential use of the city department.
§17C-4-16. Crashes involving state and municipal property; reports to be provided.
Whenever a report of a motor vehicle crash prepared by a member of the West Virginia State Police, conservation officer of the Division of Natural Resources, a member of a county sheriff's department or a municipal police officer, in the regular course of their duties, indicates that as a result of such crash damage has occurred to any bridge, sign, guardrail or other property, exclusive of licensed motor vehicles, a copy of such report shall, in the case of such property belonging to the Division of Highways, be provided to the Commissioner of the Division of Highways, and, in the case of such property belonging to a municipality, be provided to the mayor of that municipality. The copies of such reports shall be provided to the commissioner or mayor, as applicable, without cost to them.
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