(a) It is the duty of the West Virginia state police and its members to enforce the provisions of this chapter and other laws of this state governing the operation of vehicles upon the streets and highways of this state as defined in section thirty-five, article one of this chapter or in other designated places specifically referred to in a given section in this chapter; and it is the duty of sheriffs and their deputies and of the police of municipalities to render to the West Virginia state police assistance in the performance of said duties as the superintendent of the West Virginia state police may require of them.
(b) The West Virginia commissioner of highways is authorized to designate employees of the West Virginia Division of Highways as special officers to enforce the provisions of this chapter only when special officers are directing traffic upon bridges and the approaches to bridges which are a part of the state road system when any bridge needs special traffic direction and the superintendent of the West Virginia state police has informed the West Virginia commissioner of highways that he or she is unable to furnish personnel for traffic direction. The West Virginia commissioner of highways may also designate certain employees of the West Virginia Division of Highways serving as members of official weighing crews as special officers to enforce the provisions of article seventeen of this chapter. Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, designated special officers serving as members of official weighing crews may carry handguns in the course of their official duties after meeting specialized qualifications established by the Governor's committee on crime, delinquency and correction, which qualifications shall include the successful completion of handgun training, including a minimum of four hours' training in handgun safety, paid for by the Division of Highways and comparable to the handgun training provided to law-enforcement officers by the West Virginia state police: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to include designated special officers authorized by the provisions of this section as law-enforcement officers as such are defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code. The West Virginia commissioner of highways shall provide a blanket bond in the amount of $10,000 for all employees designated as special officers, as above provided.
(c) No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with a lawful order or direction of any police officer or designated special officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic.
(d) No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with a lawful order or direction of any designated special officer pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.