Any person, firm, association of persons, corporation, municipality, or county, complaining of anything done or omitted to be done by any motor carrier subject to this chapter, in contravention of the provisions thereof, or any duty owing by it under the provisions of this chapter, may present to the commission a petition which shall succinctly state all the facts. Whereupon, if there shall be any reasonable ground to investigate such complaint, a statement of the charges thus made shall be forwarded by the commission to such motor carrier, which shall be called upon to satisfy such complaint or to answer the same in writing within a reasonable time to be specified by the commission. If such motor carrier of property by motor vehicle within the time specified shall make reparations for the injury alleged to have been done or to correct the practice complained of and obey the law and discharge its duties in the premises, then it shall be relieved of liability to the complainant for the particular violation of law or duty complained of. If such motor carrier shall not satisfy the complaint within the time specified it shall be the duty of the commission to investigate the same in such manner and by such means as it shall deem proper.
Any person, officer, agent or employee of any motor carrier subject to this chapter who will knowingly or wilfully make any false entries in the accounts, account books, records, or memoranda kept by any motor carrier, or who shall knowingly or wilfully destroy or mutilate any account book, record, or memorandum useful for the enforcement or administration of this chapter by the commission, or who shall alter or by any other means or device falsify the record of any such accounts, account books, records, or memoranda, or who shall knowingly or wilfully neglect or fail to make full, true, and correct entries of or in such account, account book, record, or memorandum of all the facts and transactions appertaining to such motor carrier, or who shall falsely make any statement required to be made to the commission, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than five years.
Every day during which any person shall fail to observe and comply with any order or direction of the commission or to perform any duty enjoined by this chapter shall constitute a separate and distinct violation of the order or direction under this chapter.
Every officer, agent, employee, or stockholder of any motor carrier, or any motor carrier, and every person who violates, procures, aids, or abets in the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, or who fails to obey any order, decision, requirement, rule, or regulation of the commission or procures, aids, or abets any person in his failure to obey such order, decision, requirement, rule, or regulation, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not exceeding $1,000 or confined in jail for not less than thirty days nor more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court. Justices of the peace shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit, criminal and intermediate courts of proceedings to enforce the penalties prescribed by this section.
When any person is convicted for a violation of any provision of this chapter or any order, decision, requirement, rule, or regulation of the commission and it is alleged in the indictment upon which he is convicted and it is admitted, or by jury found, that he has been before convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter or order, decision, requirement, rule, or regulation of the commission, committed prior to the violation for which the indictment upon trial was found, then he shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 and shall, in addition thereto, be confined in the county jail for not less than three months nor more than one year.
It shall be the duty of the West Virginia state police and the sheriffs of the counties in West Virginia to make arrests and the duty of the prosecuting attorneys of the several counties to prosecute all violations of this chapter and of other chapters governing the regulatory authority of the commission. The commission employees designated as motor carrier inspectors shall have the same authority as law-enforcement officers to enforce the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of other chapters of this code governing the regulatory authority of the commission as such provisions apply to entities and persons regulated by the commission in any county or city of this state. Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, such motor carrier inspectors 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 commission 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 motor carrier inspectors within the meaning of law-enforcement officers as defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code.
(a) The employees of the commission designated as motor carrier inspectors have the same authority as law-enforcement officers generally to enforce the provisions of chapter seventeen-c of this code with respect to commercial motor vehicles owned or operated by motor carriers, exempt carriers or private commercial carriers where vehicles have a gross vehicle weight rating of ten thousand pounds or more.
The commission is authorized to delegate motor carrier inspector duties to weight enforcement officers as it considers appropriate, following successful training and certification of individual officers, who shall then have the same authority as motor carrier inspectors under this section. The commission is also authorized to delegate weight enforcement duties to motor carrier inspectors.
(b) The speed of a commercial motor vehicle owned or operated by a motor carrier, exempt carrier or private commercial carrier may be proved by evidence obtained by use of any device designed to measure and indicate or record the speed of a moving object by means of microwaves, when the evidence is obtained by employees of the commission designated as motor carrier inspectors. The evidence so obtained is prima facie evidence of the speed of the vehicle.
(c) Motor carrier inspectors shall also perform a north American standard safety inspection of each commercial motor vehicle stopped for enforcement purposes pursuant to this section.
(d) Before exercising the provisions of this section, the motor carrier inspectors shall receive adequate training.
(e) Nothing in this section affects the existing authority of law-enforcement officers not employed by the commission to enforce the provisions of chapter seventeen-c of this code.