(a) In addition to all other powers and duties not conferred by law upon county commissions, such commissions are empowered to organize and hold motor vehicle racing events on roads and airports in counties in this state; to require a permit; to provide for the issuance of a permit; to prescribe certain requirements for obtaining a permit; to provide for certain powers and duties of the permit holder and the county in relation to a racing event; and to declare that such a racing event is not a nuisance or subject to speed restrictions.
(b) As used in this section:
(1) “Person” shall mean an individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other legal entity;
(2) “Public road” shall mean a road or open country highway under the control of the county court or the governing body of a municipality which is not classified in the state road system;
(3) “Municipal street” shall mean an urban or suburban street under the control of the governing body of a municipality which is not classified in the state road system;
(4) “Motor vehicle” shall mean and include any mechanical device for the conveyance, drawing or other transportation of persons or property upon the public roads, whether operated on wheels or runners or by other means, except those propelled or drawn by human power or those used exclusively upon rails; and
(5) “Racing event” shall mean a motor vehicle race which is sanctioned by a nationally or internationally recognized racing organization and includes preparations, practices and qualifications for the race.
(c) A county commission may provide for the issuance of a permit allowing the person to whom the permit is issued to conduct a racing event on a public road or municipal street or at airports located within its jurisdiction. A person shall not conduct a racing event unless the person has been issued a permit under this section: Provided That the decision to issue a permit for any airport formed pursuant to chapter eight, article twenty-nine of this code shall be made by the governing body of the Regional Airport Authority.
(d) The county commission may charge a reasonable fee for the issuance of a permit under this section.
(e) Before a county commission issues a racing event permit under subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the county commission shall determine all of the following:
(1) That the person applying for the permit has adequate insurance to pay any damages incurred because of loss or injury to any person or property;
(2) That adequate security, emergency services and necessary facilities will be provided during the racing event; and
(3) That the person applying for the permit has demonstrated the ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the county, the race participants and those attending the racing event.
(f) For purposes of a racing event held under this section, the county commission may do all of the following:
(1) Provide for the temporary closing or obstructing of roads, streets, alleys, sidewalks and airport runways;
(2) Reroute pedestrian and vehicular traffic; and
(3) Waive ordinances and traffic regulations including speed limits and traffic control devices.
(g) No less than sixty days prior to a scheduled racing event, a county commission shall provide written notice to the West Virginia Department of Transportation - Traffic Engineering Division of any racing event permit issued under this section. The written notice shall identify the following:
(1) The time, date and location of the event;
(2) The nationally or internationally recognized racing organization sponsoring the event;
(3) A road closure plan that specifies the public roads, municipal streets, alleys, sidewalks and airport runways that will be temporarily closed or obstructed during the event;
(4) A traffic control plan that specifies the on-site traffic controls and detour route to be used during the event; and
(5) The names and phone numbers of emergency and law-enforcement contacts overseeing the event.
(h) A racing event held under this section and any action taken under subsections (e) and (f) of this section shall be considered as being for public purposes, including the promotion of commerce and tourism for the benefit of the citizens of the county and state.
(i) A county that issues a permit under this section shall not be liable for any damages that may result from the racing event because of loss or injury to any person or property. After a permit is issued, the state shall not be liable for any damages that may result from the racing event because of loss or injury to any person or property.
(j) The provisions related to road obstructions and public nuisance set forth in section one, article sixteen, chapter seventeen of this code do not apply to an authorized racing event held under this section.
(k) The provisions of article six, chapter seventeen-c of this code shall not apply to an authorized racing event held under this section.