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Introduced Version House Bill 4526 History

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hb4526 intr
H. B. 4526


(By Delegates Spencer, Fleischauer, Staggers,

Klempa, Hunt, Kominar and Campbell)


[Introduced February 17, 2010; referred to the

Committee on Roads and Transportation then the Judiciary.]



A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §17C-14-15, relating to requiring the removal of ice and snow from vehicles before operating them on highways; and imposing criminal penalties for failure to do so.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §17C-14-15, to read as follows:

ARTICLE 14. MISCELLANEOUS RULES.

§17C-14-15. Snow, ice required to be removed from vehicle before operating on streets and highways; penalties.

(a) Each driver of a motor vehicle operated on a street or highway in this state has an affirmative duty to make all reasonable efforts to remove accumulated ice or snow from exposed surfaces of the motor vehicle before operation, which surfaces shall include, but not be limited to, the hood, trunk, windshield, windows and roof of the motor vehicle, the cab of a truck, the top of a trailer or semitrailer being drawn by a motor vehicle and the top of an intermodal freight container being carried by an intermodal chassis. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection may be stopped on a street or highway by a law-enforcement officer who believes the accumulated ice or snow may pose a threat to persons or property. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $75 for each offense regardless of whether any snow or ice is dislodged from the motor vehicle. No points shall be assessed against a person's driver's license or a violation of this subsection. Every day upon which a violation occurs shall be considered a separate violation, but no person shall be subject to more than one fine for a violation of this paragraph in a period of twenty-four consecutive hours.
(b) This section does not apply to any driver of a motor vehicle operated during a snow or ice storm that began and continued for the duration of the motor vehicle's operation or to any operator of a motor vehicle while it is parked.
(c) A fine may not be imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section on the driver of a commercial motor vehicle, as the term is defined in section three, article one, chapter seventeen-e of this code, that is traveling to a location where equipment or technology that is used to remove snow and ice from commercial motor vehicles is available, provided that the driver has not already passed a location with snow and ice removal equipment or technology after snow or ice has accumulated on the exposed surfaces of the commercial motor vehicle. In determining whether the vehicle has already passed a location with equipment or technology that is used to remove snow and ice from commercial motor vehicles, a law-enforcement officer has the authority to inspect any documentation relating to the route traveled by the driver of the commercial motor vehicle before being stopped, including, but not limited to, a log book or map depicting the route traveled by the vehicle.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section:
(1) The person who is in physical possession of a motor vehicle at the time snow or ice accumulates on the exposed surfaces of the motor vehicle is responsible for removing the accumulated snow or ice from the exposed surfaces of the motor vehicle and shall be liable for a violation of the duty to remove accumulated snow or ice prior to operation of the motor vehicle pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. If the driver of the motor vehicle was not in physical possession of the motor vehicle at the time the snow or ice accumulated, then the driver is not liable for a violation of subsection (a) of this subsection.
(2) In the case of any trailer or semitrailer being drawn by a motor vehicle or of any vehicle or combination of vehicles carrying an intermodal freight container, the person, including, but not limited to, a shipper or consignee, who is in physical possession of the trailer, semitrailer or container at the time snow or ice accumulates on that trailer, semitrailer or container is responsible for removing the accumulated snow or ice from the trailer, semitrailer or container and shall be liable for a violation of the duty to remove accumulated snow or ice before operation of a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. If the driver of the motor vehicle was not in physical possession of the trailer, semitrailer or container at the time the snow or ice accumulated, then the driver is not liable for a violation of subsection (a) of this section.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require ice and snow removal from vehicles before driving on highways.

This section is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.
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