State Sen. H. Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, outlined the DMV laws, each of which is aimed at improving the safety of motor vehicle operations in the state of West Virginia.
Chafin noted that House Bill 2218 authorizes the Department of Transportation to put into operation legislative rules. Next, ATV safety courses were approved for colleges, which will benefit southern West Virginia by gaining popularity through proper training of these devices.
“This may help to bring in individual/groups of riders who otherwise would be unaware of the trails and offerings found in the southernmost part of West Virginia,” Chafin explained.
The last bill states that new car warranties will also apply to vehicles purchased out of the state, the senator said.
#Chafin said the Senate also has taken measures for the safety and security of drivers. Senate Bill 12 concerns the two-year motorcycle renewal option: Part A establishes a timetable for implementing two-year Class G renewal option. Part B establishes a prorate policy and Vehicle System and Cash Register.
The Senate also elected to upgrade to national recommendations by making several changes in regard to driver classification (Levels 1 and 2).
Laws now in effect change curfew from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m., limiting Level 2 drivers to no more than three passengers under the age of 20 (first six months there should be no unrelated passengers under the age of 20 in the vehicle). The second six months, the operator should have only one unrelated passenger under the age of 20), and increasing certified driving experience from 30 hours to 50 hours (10 of which must be at night). The next alteration moves handheld cell phone/text messaging prohibition from being secondary to primary enforcement.
#Senate Bill 398 also states that the DMV holds the discretion to allow Level 2 drivers to take driver improvement classes to negate effects of “minor traffic offenses” – first year ticket on one year infraction free driving as well as counting against two conviction limit. There was a clarification of a limit of two attempts only on the written test for Level I for a $5 fee.
Lastly, Chafin stated, the criminal penalty for violating GDL regulations will result in the first conviction fee, $25; second conviction fee, $50, and the third being held at $75.
The Hatfield and McCoy Trails had expressed concerns with guidelines, which are now cleared; the Hatfield and McCoy Trails’ only ATV definition includes mules and gaters.
“So enjoy those trails,” said Chafin. “A tax cleanup poses that city optional sales tax does not apply to sales tax on vehicles, and new resident affidavit requirements were eliminated; it was made obsolete by a change from privilege tax to sales tax based on exchange of consideration.”
The last bill to pass both the House and Senate was the application of driver improvement class point reduction. It may apply after a suspension letter is sent if based on 13 or 14 points and pays reinstatement fee and accomplished before the suspension date.
For further information regarding any bill that has been passed by legislature, visit the legislative website at www.legis.state.wv.us. For answers to further questions, contact Sen. Chafin’s office (304) 357-7808 or e-mail at truman.chafin@ wvsenate.gov.