Senate Bill No. 493
(By Senators Snyder, Beach and Palumbo)
[Passed March 10, 2012; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §17C-15-36a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to exempting certain vehicles from sun-screening restrictions; exempting certain law-enforcement vehicles and vehicles with manufacturer installed sun-screening devices from state standards; and prohibiting unmarked law-enforcement vehicles with sun-screening exemption from making routine traffic stops.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-15-36a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15. EQUIPMENT.
§17C-15-36a. Sun-screening devices; penalty.
(a) No person may operate a motor vehicle that is registered or required to be registered in the state on any public highway, road or street that has a sun-screening device on the windshield, the front side wings and side windows adjacent to the right and left of the driver and windows adjacent to the rear of the driver that do not meet the requirements of this section: Provided, That law-enforcement K-9 and other emergency vehicles that are designed to haul animals, unmarked law-enforcement vehicles primarily used for covert or undercover enforcement and automobiles that have sun-screening devices installed at the factory by the manufacturer are exempt from this requirement. No unmarked law-enforcement vehicle, herein exempted, may engage in routine traffic stops.
(b) A sun-screening device when used in conjunction with the windshield must be nonreflective and may not be red, yellow or amber in color. A sun-screening device may be used only along the top of the windshield and may not extend downward beyond the ASI line or more than five inches from the top of the windshield whichever is closer to the top of the windshield.
(c) A sun-screening device when used in conjunction with the automotive safety glazing materials of the side wings or side windows located at the immediate right and left of the driver shall be a nonreflective type with reflectivity of not more than twenty percent and have a light transmission of not less than thirty-five percent. The side windows behind the driver and the rear most windows may have a sun-screening device that is designed to be used on automotive safety glazing materials that has a light transmission of not less than thirty-five percent and a reflectivity of not more than twenty percent. If a sun-screening device is used on glazing behind the driver, one right and one left outside rear view mirror is required.
(d) Each manufacturer shall:
(1) Certify to the West Virginia State Police and Division of Motor Vehicles that a sun-screening device used by it is in compliance with the reflectivity and transmittance requirements of this section;
(2) Provide a label not to exceed one and one-half square inches in size, with a means for the permanent and legible installations between the sun-screening material and each glazing surface to which it is applied that contains the manufacturer's name and its percentage of light transmission; and
(3) Include instructions with the product or material for proper installation, including the affixing of the label specified in this section. The labeling or marking must be placed in the left lower corner of each glazing surface when facing the vehicle from the outside.
(e) No person may:
(1) Offer for sale or for use any sun-screening product or material for motor vehicle use not in compliance with this section; or
(2) Install any sun-screening product or material on vehicles intended for use on public roads without permanently affixing the label specified in this section.
(f) The provisions of this section do not apply to a motor vehicle registered in this state in the name of a person, or the person's legal guardian, who has an affidavit signed by a physician or an optometrist licensed to practice in this state that states that the person has a physical condition that makes it necessary to equip the motor vehicle with sun-screening material which would be of a light transmittance or luminous reflectance in violation of this section. The affidavit must be in the possession of the person so afflicted, or the person's legal guardian, at all times while being transported in the motor vehicle.
(g) The light transmittance requirement of this section does not apply to windows behind the driver on trucks, buses, trailers, mobile homes and multipurpose passenger vehicles.
(h) As used in this section:
(1) "Bus" means a motor vehicle with motive power, except a trailer, designed for carrying more than ten persons.
(2) "Light transmission" means the ratio of the amount of total light to pass through a product or material to the amount of the total light falling on the product or material.
(3) "Luminous reflectants" means the ratio of the amount of total light that is reflected outward by the product or material to the amount of the total light falling on the product or materials.
(4) "Manufacturer" means any person engaged in the manufacturing or assembling of sun-screening products or materials designed to be used in conjunction with vehicle glazing materials for the purpose of reducing the effects of the sun.
(5) "Motor homes" means vehicular units designed to provide temporary living quarters built into and an integral part of or permanently attached to a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis.
(6) "Multipurpose passenger vehicle" means a motor vehicle with motive power, except a trailer, designed to carry ten persons or less which is constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation.
(7) "Nonreflective" means a product or material designed to absorb light rather than to reflect it.
(8) "Passenger car" means a motor vehicle with motive power, except a multipurpose passenger vehicle, motorcycle or trailer, designed for carrying ten persons or less.
(9) "Sun-screening device" means film material or device that is designed to be used in conjunction with motor vehicle safety glazing materials for reducing the effects of the sun.
(10) "Truck" means a motor vehicle with motive power, except a trailer, designed primarily for the transportation of property or special purpose equipment.
(i) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $200.