House Bill 3057 History
Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
H. B. 3057
(By Delegates Howell, Rowan,
E. Nelson, McCuskey, Westfall and Azinger)
[Introduced March 22, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Roads and Transportation then the
A BILL to amend and reenact §17C-14-15 of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to traffic safety;
specifically, establishing the offense of operating a motor
vehicle using a wearable computer with a head-mounted display.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-14-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 14. MISCELLANEOUS RULES.
§17C-14-15. Prohibited use of an electronic communications device
handheld hands-free features;
definitions; exceptions; penalties.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a
person may not drive or operate a motor vehicle on a public street
or highway while:
(2) Using a cell phone or other electronic communications device, unless the use is accomplished by hands-free equipment; or
__(3) Using a wearable computer with head mounted display.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms
(1) "Cell phone"
shall mean means a cellular, analog, wireless
or digital telephone.
(2) "Driving" or "operating a motor vehicle" means operating
a motor vehicle with the motor running including while temporarily
stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device or other
but does These do not include operating a motor
vehicle after the driver has moved the vehicle to the side of or
off a highway and halted in a location where the vehicle can safely
(3) "Electronic communication device" means a cell telephone,
personal digital assistant, electronic device with mobile data
access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication
device, 2-way messaging device, electronic game or portable
computing device. For the purposes of this section, an "electronic
communication device" does not include:
(A) Voice radios, mobile radios, land mobile radios,
commercial mobile radios or two way radios with the capability to
transmit and receive voice transmissions utilizing a push-to-talk
or press-to-transmit function; or
(B) Other voice radios used by a law-enforcement officer, an emergency services provider, an employee or agent of public safety
organizations, first responders, Amateur Radio Operators (HAM)
licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and school bus
(4) "Engaging in a call" means when a person talks into or
listens on an electronic communication device but
shall does not
include when a person dials or enters a phone number on a pushpad
or screen to initiate the call.
(5) "Hands-free electronic communication device" means an
electronic communication device that has an internal feature or
function or that is equipped with an attachment or addition,
whether or not permanently part of such electronic communication
device, by which a user engages in a call without the use of either
hand or both hands.
(6) "Hands-free equipment" means the internal feature or
function of a hands-free electronic communication device or the
attachment or addition to a hands-free electronic communication
device by which a user may engage in a call or text without the use
of either hand or both hands.
(7) "Texting" means manually entering alphanumeric text into
or reading text from an electronic communication device and
includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing,
instant messaging, a command or request to access a World Wide Web
page or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry for present or future communication. For purposes of this
section, "texting" does not include the following actions:
(A) Reading, selecting or entering a telephone number, an
extension number or voicemail retrieval codes and commands into an
electronic device by
the pressing the device in order to initiate
or receive a phone call or using voice commands to initiate or
receive a telephone call;
(B) Inputting, selecting or reading information on a global
positioning system or navigation system; or
(C) Using a device capable of performing multiple functions
including fleet management systems, dispatching devices, smart
phones, citizens band radios or music players for a purpose that is
not otherwise prohibited in this section.
(8) "Using a cell phone or other electronic communication
device" means holding in a person's hand or hands an electronic
communication device while:
(A) Viewing or transmitting images or data;
(B) Playing games;
(C) Composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing,
transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages or other
electronic data; or
(D) Engaging in a call.
(9) "Wearable computer with a head mounted display" means a
computing device which is worn on the head and projects visual information into the field of vision of the wearer.
(c) Subsection (a) of this section
shall does not apply to:
(1) A law-enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency
medical technician, a paramedic or the operator of an authorized
emergency vehicle in the performance of their official duties;
(2) A person using an electronic communication device to
report to appropriate authorities a fire, a traffic accident, a
serious road hazard or a medical or hazardous materials
(3) The activation or deactivation of hands-free equipment or
a function of hands-free equipment.
(d) This section does not supersede the provisions of section
three-a, article two, chapter seventeen-b of this code or
restrictive provisions for drivers of commercial motor vehicles
prescribed by the provisions of chapter seventeen-e of this code or
federal law or rule.
Any A person who violates the provisions of subsection (a)
of this section is guilty of a traffic offense and, upon conviction
thereof, shall for a first offense be fined $100; for a second
offense be fined $200; and for a third or subsequent offense be
fined $300. No court costs or other fees shall be assessed for a
violation of subsection (a) of this section.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the
contrary, points may not be entered on
any a driver's record maintained by the Division of Motor Vehicles as a result of a
violation of this section except for the third and subsequent
convictions of the offense for which three points shall be entered
on any a driver's record maintained by the Division of Motor
(g) Driving or operating a motor vehicle on a public street or
highway while texting shall be enforced as a primary offense as of
July 1, 2012. Driving or operating a motor vehicle on a public
street or highway while using a cell phone or other electronic
communication device without hands-free equipment shall be enforced
as a secondary offense as of July 1, 2012, and as a primary offense
as of July 1, 2013 for purposes of citation. Using a wearable
computer with a head mounted display shall be enforced as a primary
offense as of July 1, 2013.
(h) Within ninety days of the effective date of this section,
the Department of Transportation shall cause to be erected signs
upon any highway entering the State of West Virginia on which a
welcome to West Virginia sign is posted, and any other highway
where the Division of Highways deems appropriate, posted at a
distance of not more than one mile from each border crossing, each
sign to bear an inscription clearly communicating to motorists
entering the state that texting or the use of a wireless
communication device without hands-free equipment is illegal within
(i) Nothing contained in this section
shall be construed to
authorize authorizes seizure of a cell phone or electronic device
by any a law-enforcement agency.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that using a
wearable computer with a head-mounted display violates the
provisions of this section.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would