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Chapter 17 C     Entire Code

CHAPTER 17C. TRAFFIC REGULATIONS AND LAWS OF THE ROAD.

ARTICLE 17. SIZE, WEIGHT AND LOAD.

§17C-17-1. Unlawful to exceed size and weight limitations; application of article to fire apparatus, farm machinery, etc.;"operate a vehicle or combination of vehicles" construed.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any owner, lessee or borrower of a vehicle or combination of vehicles to operate on any highway such vehicle or combination of vehicles, whether driven by such owner, lessee or borrower, or by some person on behalf of such owner, lessee or borrower, of a size or weight exceeding any limitation stated in this article, or otherwise in violation of any provision of this article, whether such limitation or provision be specifically stated in this article or set by express authority granted in this article, and the maximum size and weight of vehicles herein specified shall be lawful throughout this state, and local authorities shall have no power or authority to alter said limitations or provisions except as express authority shall be granted in this article. Subject to the penalties for weight violations provided in section fourteen of this article, violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(b) The provisions of this article governing size, weight, and load shall not apply to fire apparatus, road machinery, or to implements of husbandry, including farm tractors, temporarily moved upon a highway, or to a vehicle operated under the terms of a special permit issued as herein provided.

(c) The phrase "operate a vehicle or combination of vehicles" shall in this article be interpreted to mean the use of such vehicle or combination of vehicles on behalf of the owner, lessee or borrower, whether driven by him or by some person on behalf of him

§17C-17-2. Width of vehicles.

(a) The total outside width, exclusive of safety equipment authorized by the United States Department of Transportation, of any vehicle or the load thereon may not exceed ninety-six inches except as otherwise provided in this article: Provided, That any vehicle with a total outside width of one hundred two inches, exclusive of safety equipment authorized by the United States Department of Transportation, may be operated on any highway within the state designated by the United States Department of Transportation or the commissioner of the department of highways or on any highway having a minimum lane width of ten feet.

(b) Motor homes, travel trailers, truck campers, motor buses and trackless trolley coaches with a total outside width of one hundred two inches, excluding safety equipment authorized by the United States Department of Transportation, may operate on any highway.

§17C-17-3. Projecting loads on passenger vehicles.

(a) No passenger-type vehicle shall be operated on any highway with any load carried thereon extending beyond the line of the fenders of the left side of such vehicle nor extending more than six inches beyond the line of the fenders on the right side thereof.

(b) A motor home, travel trailer or truck camper may exceed the maximum width prescribed section two of this article, if the excess width is attributable to an appurtenance that does not exceed more than six inches beyond the body of the vehicle.

§17C-17-4. Height and length of vehicles and loads.

(a) A vehicle, including any load thereon, may not exceed a height of thirteen feet six inches, but the owner or owners of such vehicles shall be responsible for damage to any bridge or highway structure and to municipalities for any damage to traffic control devices or other highway structures where such bridges, devices or structures have a vehicle clearance of less than thirteen feet six inches.

(b) A motor vehicle, including any load thereon, may not exceed a length of forty feet extreme overall dimension, inclusive of front and rear bumpers: Provided, That a motor home and a school bus may not exceed a length of forty-five feet, exclusive of front and rear bumpers.

(c) Except as hereinafter provided in this subsection or in subsection (d) of this section, a combination of vehicles coupled together may not consist of more than two units and no combination of vehicles including any load thereon shall have an overall length, inclusive of front and rear bumpers, in excess of fifty-five feet except as provided in section eleven-b of this article and except as otherwise provided in respect to the use of a pole trailer as authorized in section five of this article. The limitation that a combination of vehicles coupled together may not consist of more than two units may not apply to: (1) A combination of vehicles coupled together by a saddle-mount device used to transport motor vehicles in a drive-away service when no more than three saddle mounts are used, if equipment used in the combination meets the requirements of the safety regulations of the United States Department of Transportation and may not exceed an overall length of more than seventy-five feet; or (2) a combination of vehicles coupled together, one of which is a travel trailer or folding camping trailer having an overall length, exclusive of front and rear bumpers, not exceeding sixty-five feet.

(d) A combination of two vehicles coupled together, one of which is a motor home, or a combination of vehicles coupled together, one of which is a travel trailer or folding camping trailer, may not exceed an overall length, exclusive of front and rear bumpers of sixty-five feet.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a), (b), (c) and (d) of this section, the commissioner may designate, upon his or her own motion or upon the petition of an interested party, a combination vehicle length not to exceed seventy feet.

(f) The length limitations for truck tractor-semitrailer combinations and truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combinations operating on the national system of interstate and defense highways and those classes of qualifying federal-aid primary system highways so designated by the United States secretary of transportation and those highways providing reasonable access to and from terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs and rest and points of loading and unloading for household goods carriers from such highways and further, as to other highways so designated by the West Virginia commissioner of highways, shall be as follows: The maximum length of a semitrailer unit operating in a truck tractor-semitrailer combination shall not exceed forty-eight feet in length except where semitrailers have an axle spacing of not more than thirty-seven feet between the rear axle of the truck tractor and the front axle of the semitrailer, such semitrailer shall be allowed to be not more than fifty-three feet in length and the maximum length of any semitrailer or trailer operating in a truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination may not exceed twenty-eight feet in length and in no event shall any combinations exceed three units, including the truck tractor: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall impose an overall length limitation as to commercial motor vehicles operating in truck tractor-semitrailer or truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combinations.

(g) The commissioner shall publish annually an official map designating the highways of the state and the various maximum vehicle lengths relating thereto.

§17C-17-5. Special load limits.

(a) Subject to the foregoing provisions of this article limiting the length of vehicles and loads, the load upon any vehicle operated alone or the load upon the front vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall not extend more than three feet beyond the foremost part of the vehicle, and the load upon any vehicle operated alone or the load upon the rear vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall not extend more than six feet beyond the rear of the bed or body of such vehicle: Provided, That a digger/derrick line truck may be operated with a load of no more than forty-five feet in length, with the load extending no more than nine feet beyond the foremost part of the truck and no more than eleven feet beyond the rear of the bed of the body of the truck, between sunrise and sunset except in an emergency, and the operation of the truck shall comply with the provisions of section fourteen, article fifteen of this chapter.

(b) The limitations as to length of vehicles and loads heretofore stated in section four of this article and subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to any load upon a pole trailer when transporting poles or pipes or structural material which cannot be dismembered: Provided, That no pole or pipe or other material exceeding eighty feet in length shall be so transported unless a permit has first been obtained as authorized in section eleven of this article.

§17C-17-6. Loads to be securely fastened and not allowed to leak, escape, etc.

(a) No vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be operated on any highway unless such vehicle or combination of vehicles is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom, except that sand may be dropped for the purpose of securing traction, or water or other substance may be sprinkled on a roadway in cleaning or maintaining such roadway.

(b) It shall be unlawful to operate on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles with any load unless said load and any covering thereon is securely fastened so as to prevent said covering or load from becoming loose, detached, or in any manner a hazard to other users of the highway.

§17C-17-6a. Vehicles transporting compressed gas containers.

It is unlawful for any person operating a vehicle transporting any container of compressed gas as a cargo or part of a cargo upon a highway in an open motor vehicle unless it is securely braced, equipped with an individual shutoff valve that must be tightly closed while in transit and its valves are protected by one of the following methods:

(1) By equipping the cylinder with securely attached metal caps of sufficient strength to protect valves from damage during transportation;

(2) By boxing or crating the cylinder with securely attached metal caps of sufficient strength so as to protect valves from damage during transportation; or

(3) By constructing the cylinder so that the valve is recessed into the cylinder or otherwise protected to the extent that it will not be subjected to a blow when the container is dropped onto a flat surface.

The requirements of this section are not applicable to propane gas used for household purposes or to respiratory health care products in use by the person operating the vehicle.

The Commissioner of the Division of Highways is hereby authorized and directed to propose a legislative rule governing the transportation of compressed gas containers by vehicles upon the highways for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

§17C-17-7. Trailers and towed vehicles.

(a) When one vehicle is towing another the drawbar or other connection shall be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed thereby and said drawbar or other connection shall not exceed fifteen feet from one vehicle to the other except the connection between any two vehicles transporting poles, pipe, machinery, or other objects of structural nature which cannot readily be dismembered.

(b) When one vehicle is towing another and the connection consists of a chain, rope, or cable, there shall be displayed upon such connection a white flag or cloth not less than twelve inches square.

§17C-17-8. Single-axle load limit.

(a) The gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle of a vehicle shall not exceed twenty thousand pounds.

(b) For the purpose of this article an axle load shall be defined as the total load transmitted to the road by all wheels whose centers are included between two parallel transverse vertical planes forty inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle.

§17C-17-8a. Tandem-axle load limit for the national system of interstate and defense highways.

(a) The gross weight imposed on the national system of interstate and defense highways by the wheels of a tandem-axle of a vehicle shall not exceed thirty-four thousand pounds.

(b) For the purpose of this article a tandem-axle load shall be defined as the total load transmitted to the road by two or more consecutive axles whose centers may be included between parallel transverse vertical planes spaced more than forty inches and not more than ninety-six inches apart, extending the full width of the vehicle.

§17C-17-9. Gross weight of vehicles and loads for the national system of interstate and defense highways.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any owner, lessee or borrower of a vehicle or combination of vehicles to operate on any national system of interstate and defense highways such vehicle or combination of vehicles with a gross weight in excess of the gross weight for which such vehicle or combination of vehicles is registered or in excess of any weight limitation set forth in this chapter, whether such limitation be specifically stated in this chapter or set by express authority granted in this chapter.

(b) Subject to the limit upon the weight imposed upon the highway through any one axle as set forth in section eight of this article, or the limit imposed upon the highway through any tandem-axle as set forth in section eight-a of this article, the total gross weight with load imposed upon the highway by any one group of two or more consecutive axles of a vehicle or combination of vehicles shall not exceed the gross weight given for the respective distance between the first and last axle of the total group of axles measured longitudinally to the nearest foot as set forth in the following table:

Distance in feet between the extremes of any groups of two or more consecutive

Maximum load in pounds carried on any group of two or more consecutive axles

axles 2 axles 3 axles 4 axles 5 axles 6 axles

4 34000

5 34000

6 34000

7 34000

8 34000 34000

9 39000 42500

10 40000 43500

11 44000

12 45000 50000

13 45500 50500

14 46500 51500

15 47000 52000

16 48000 52500 58000

17 48500 53500 58500

18 49500 54000 59000

19 50000 54500 60000

20 51000 5550 060500 66000

21 51500 56000 61000 66500

22 52500 56500 61500 67000

23 53000 57500 62500 68000

24 54000 58000 63000 68500

25 54500 58500 63500 69000

26 55500 59500 64000 69500

27 56000 60000 65000 70000

28 57000 60500 65500 71000

29 57500 61500 66000 71500

30 58500 62000 66500 72000

31 59000 62500 67500 72500

32 60000 63500 68000 73000

33 64000 68500 74000

34 64500 69000 74500

35 65500 70000 75000

36 66000 70500 75500

37 66500 71000 76000

38 67500 72000 77000

39 68000 72500 77500

40 68500 73000 78000

41 69500 73500 78500

42 70000 74000 79000

43 70500 75000 80000

44 71500 75500 80500

45 72000 76000 81000

46 72500 76500 81500

47 73500 77500 82000

48 74000 78000 83000

49 74500 78500 83500

50 75500 79000 84000

51 76000 80000 84500

52 76500 80500 85000

53 77500 81000 86000

54 78000 81500 86500

55 78500 82500 87000

56 79500 83000 87500

5 780000 83500 88000

58 84000 89000

59 85000 89500

60 85500 90000

Provided, That no vehicle or combination of vehicles shall have a gross weight, including the load, in excess of sixty-five thousand pounds, except that the maximum gross weight of vehicles operating on the national system of interstate and defense highways and any highway providing reasonable access to and from terminals and facilities for food, fuel, repairs and rest within the state shall not be in excess of eighty thousand pounds and except as otherwise provided in this article. Notwithstanding the limits prescribed in this subsection, two consecutive sets of tandem-axles may carry a gross load of thirty-four thousand pounds each providing the overall distance between the first and last axles of such consecutive sets of tandem-axles is thirty-six feet or more: Provided, however, That the limits prescribed in this subsection shall not prohibit the operation of any vehicle or combination of vehicles of a type which could be lawfully operated in accordance with gross vehicle weights in effect on January 1, 1975: Provided further, That no maximum weight in excess of or in conflict with any weight limitations prescribed by or pursuant to any act of Congress shall be permitted on the national system of interstate and defense highways.

§17C-17-9a. Gross weight of vehicles and loads.

(a) It is unlawful for any owner, lessee or borrower of a vehicle or combination of vehicles to operate on any highway other than the national system of interstate and defense highways that vehicle or combination of vehicles with a gross weight in excess of the gross weight for which such vehicle or combination of vehicles is registered or in excess of any weight limitation set forth in this chapter, whether such limitation be specifically stated in this chapter or set by express authority granted this chapter: Provided, That if any vehicle is operated within the tolerances established in this section for the gross weight of that vehicle, then that vehicle shall be deemed for all purposes to be operating at the gross weight for which it is registered and the registered weight is deemed to include the ten percent tolerance associated with it under this section.

(b) Subject to the limit upon the weight imposed upon the highway through any one axle as set forth in section eight of this article, the total gross weight on vehicles or combination of vehicles operated on any highway other than the national system of interstate and defense highways shall be as follows:

(1) A single unit truck having one steering axle and two axles in tandem shall be limited to a maximum gross weight of sixty thousand pounds with a tolerance of ten percent.

(2) A single unit truck having one steering axle and three axles in tridem arrangement shall be limited to a maximum gross weight of seventy thousand pounds with a tolerance of ten percent.

(3) A single unit truck having one steering axle and four axles in quadem arrangement shall be limited to a maximum gross weight of seventy-three thousand pounds with a tolerance of ten percent.

(4) A tractor-semitrailer combination with five axles, a tractor-semitrailer combination with six or more axles, a single unit truck having one steering axle and two axles in tandem in combination with a trailer with two axles and a single unit truck having one steering axle and three axles in tridem in combination with a trailer with two axles, shall be limited to a maximum gross weight of eighty thousand pounds with a tolerance of ten percent

§17C-17-10. Officers may weigh, measure or examine vehicles and require removal or rearrangement of excess loads.

(a) Any police officer or employee of the Division of Highways or the Public Service Commission designated as a member of an official weighing crew by his or her representative agency may require the driver of any vehicle or combination of vehicles located on or within one hundred feet of any public highway or right-of-way, and whether moving or stopped, to submit the vehicle or combination of vehicles to a weighing with portable or stationary weighing devices or submit the vehicle or combination of vehicles to a measuring or to any other examination necessary to determine if the vehicle or combination of vehicles is in violation of any of the provisions of this article or article seventeen-a of this chapter, and may require that the vehicle or combination of vehicles be driven to the nearest weighing device.

No vehicle or combination of vehicles may be detained for weighing unless a portable or stationary weighing device is actually present at the location where, and at the time, the vehicle or combination of vehicles is stopped or unless the vehicle or combination of vehicles is escorted immediately after being stopped to the nearest portable or stationary weighing device. In no case may a vehicle or combination of vehicles be detained more than one hour from the time it is stopped for weighing unless the vehicle or combination of vehicles is impounded for another violation or placed out of service for a safety violation.

(b) Whenever a police officer or a member of an official weighing crew determines that a vehicle or combination of vehicles is in violation of any of the provisions of this article or article seventeen-a of this chapter, he or she may require the driver to remain in place or be moved to a suitable location until the vehicle or combination of vehicles is brought into conformity with the provisions violated.

In the case of a weight violation all material unloaded shall be cared for by the owner, lessee or borrower of the vehicle or combination of vehicles at the risk of the owner, lessee or borrower: Provided, That no criminal charge shall be preferred against any driver, operator or owner of a vehicle when a rearrangement of the load upon the vehicle, without removal of the load from the vehicle, reduces the axle loads of the vehicle to the limit permitted under this chapter.

(c) Any driver of a vehicle or combination of vehicles who fails or refuses to comply with any requirement or provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, or in the case of any driver of a vehicle engaged in the transportation of coal, any other additional penalties that may be applicable under the provisions of article seventeen-a of this chapter.

§17C-17-11. Permits for excess size and weight.

(a) The Public Service Commission may, in its discretion, upon application in writing and good cause shown issue a special permit in writing authorizing: (1) The applicant, in crossing any highway of this state, to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight or load exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, whether the operation is continuous or not, provided the applicant agrees to compensate the commissioner of highways for all damages or expenses incurred in connection with the crossing; (2) the applicant to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicles or nondivisible load exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter; and (3) the applicant to move or operate, for limited or continuous operation, a vehicle hauling containerized cargo in a sealed, seagoing container to or from a seaport or inland waterway port that has or will be transported by marine shipment where the vehicle is not, as a result of hauling the container, in conformity with the provisions of this article relating to weight limitations, upon the conditions that: (A) The container be hauled only on the roadways and highways designated by the commissioner of highways; (B) the contents of the container are not changed from the time it is loaded by the consignor or the consignor’s agent to the time it is delivered to the consignee or the consignees agent; and (C) any additional conditions as the commissioner of highways or the Public Service Commission may impose to otherwise ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

(b)(1) The commissioner of highways may issue a special permit to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicles or nondivisible load exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter over routes designated by the commissioner of highways upon terms and restrictions prescribed by the Public Service Commission, together with the commissioner of highways.

(2) For purposes of this section, nondivisible load means any load exceeding applicable length or weight limits which, if separated into smaller loads or vehicles, would: (A) Compromise the intended use of the vehicle, to the extent that the separation would make it unable to perform the function for which it was intended; (B) destroy the value of the load or vehicle, to the extent that the separation would make it unusable for its intended purpose; or (C) require more than eight workhours to dismantle using appropriate equipment: Provided, That the applicant for a nondivisible load permit has the burden of proof as to the number of workhours required to dismantle the load.

(3)  The commissioner of highways may, in his or her discretion, upon application in writing and based upon an engineering analysis, issue a special permit in writing authorizing the applicant, when operating upon any highway of this state designated by the commissioner, to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles, hauling commodities manufactured for interstate commerce, of a size or weight or divisible load exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, whether the operation is continuous or not.

(A) The engineering analysis must demonstrate that the vehicle permitted under this subdivision does not adversely affect the designated routes when compared to the size, weight, and load provisions of this chapter.

(B) The maximum gross vehicle weight permitted under this subsection is 120,000 pounds.

(C) The permit may contain any additional conditions the commissioner of highways or the Public Service Commission may impose to otherwise ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

(c) The application for any permit other than a special annual permit shall specifically describe the vehicle or vehicles and load to be operated or moved along or across the highway and the particular highway or crossing of the highway for which the permit to operate is requested, and whether the permit is requested for a single trip or for a continuous operation.

(d) The Public Service Commission is authorized to issue or withhold a permit at his or her discretion; or, if the permit is issued, to limit the number of trips, or to establish seasonal or other time limitations within which the vehicles described may be operated on or across the highways indicated, or otherwise to limit or prescribe conditions of operation of the vehicle or vehicles, when necessary to assure against undue damage to the road foundations, surface, or structures, and may require the undertaking, bond or other security considered necessary to compensate for any injury to any roadway structure and to specify the type, number and the location for escort vehicles for any vehicle: Provided, That in establishing limitations on permits issued under this section, the Public Service Commission shall consult with the commissioner of highways, and may not issue, limit or condition a permit in a manner inconsistent with the authority of the commissioner of highways.

The Public Service Commission may charge a fee for the issuance of a permit for a mobile home and a reasonable fee for the issuance of a permit for any other vehicle under the provisions of this section to pay the administrative costs thereof.

(e) Every permit shall be carried in the vehicle or combination of vehicles to which it refers and shall be open to inspection by any police officer or authorized agent of the commissioner of highways or the Public Service Commission, and no person shall violate any of the terms or conditions of the special permit.

§17C-17-11a. Authority of commissioner of the department of highways to increase weight limitations upon highways designated by him

If, in the opinion of the commissioner of the department of highways, the design, construction and safety of any highway, or portion thereof, are such that the gross weight limitations prescribed in section nine of this article can be increased without undue damage to any such highway, the commissioner may, by order, increase the gross weight limitations of vehicles which may be operated upon any such highway, or portion thereof, designated by him in such order and may establish therein the gross weight limitations which shall thereafter be applicable to the highway or portion thereof so designated by him Provided, That the maximum gross weight, including the load established by the commissioner for any such designated highway or portion thereof, shall not exceed eighty thousand pounds, except as otherwise provided in this article: Provided, however, That no such order of the commissioner shall establish any weight limitation in excess of or in conflict with any weight limitation prescribed by or pursuant to acts of Congress with respect to the national system of interstate and defense highways.

§17C-17-11b. Authority of state road commissioner to increase length limitations upon highways designated by him

If, in the opinion of the commissioner of the department of highways, the design, construction and safety of any highway, or portion thereof, are such that the length limitations prescribed in section four (c) of this article can be increased without undue risk of damage to other vehicles lawfully using such highway or portion thereof, to bridges or other road structures, and to municipal and utility company facilities, wires, traffic devices or other structures, the commissioner may, by order, increase the length limitations of vehicles which may be operated upon any such highway, or portion thereof, designated by him in such order and may establish therein the maximum length limitations which shall thereafter be applicable to the highway or portion thereof so designated by him Provided, That the maximum length of any combination of vehicles including any load thereon shall not exceed sixty feet, except as otherwise provided in this article with respect to the size of vehicles: Provided, however, That no such order of the commissioner shall establish any height or length limitation in excess of or in conflict with any height or length limitation prescribed by or pursuant to acts of Congress with respect to the national system of interstate defense highways.

§17C-17-11c. Designating an industrial road; setting weight limits.

(a) The commissioner of the Division of Highways shall determine if the design, construction and safety specifications of a portion of state route 61 and County route 72, located in Kanawha County, which is eighty-five hundredths of a mile in length, and its extension to state route 3 at Orgas in Boone County, meet the specifications required by the commissioner to designate the road an industrial road.

(b) After the determination as required by subsection (a) is made and all modifications and repairs necessary to meet the specifications of the Division of Highways are completed, the commissioner may designate that portion of state route 61 and County route 72, located in Kanawha County, which is eighty-five hundredths of a mile in length, and its extension to state route 3 at Orgas in Boone County, an industrial road.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other section of this article, the commissioner may set the gross weight limitations applicable to that portion of state route 61 and County route 72 designated an industrial road not to exceed eighty thousand pounds.

§17C-17-11d. Establishing maximum road highway weights.

Effective July 1, 2004, the maximum gross vehicle weight on existing state-maintained roads and public highways designated for gross weight vehicle load of sixty-five thousand pounds, seventy-three thousand five hundred pounds and eighty thousand pounds shall have a tolerance of ten percent. All requirements for vehicle design and axle weights otherwise established under this code remain applicable. In no case may the commissioner authorize weight limits on any state-maintained road or public highway that would jeopardize or otherwise limit federal highway fund appropriations to this state. The commissioner of highways shall, by December 31, 2004, review and revise, as the commissioner deems appropriate, weight limits for all state-maintained roads and public highways and provide to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance a report denoting all weight limits as they have been designated on state-maintained roads and public highways.

§17C-17-12. When state road commission or local authorities may restrict right to use highways.

(a) Local authorities with respect to highways under their jurisdiction may by ordinance or resolution prohibit the operation of vehicles upon any such highway or impose restrictions as to the weight of vehicles to be operated upon any such highway, for a total period of not to exceed ninety days in any one calendar year, whenever any said highway by reason of deterioration, rain, snow, or other climatic conditions will be seriously damaged or destroyed unless the use of vehicles thereon is prohibited or the permissible weights thereof reduced.

(b) The local authority enacting any such ordinance or resolution shall erect or cause to be erected and maintained signs designating the provisions of the ordinance or resolution at each end of that portion of any highway affected thereby, and the ordinance or resolution shall not be effective unless and until such signs are erected and maintained.

(c) Local authorities with respect to highways under their jurisdiction may also, by ordinance or resolution, prohibit the operation of trucks or other commercial vehicles, or may impose limitations as to the weight thereof, on designated highways, which prohibitions and limitations shall be designated by appropriate signs placed on such highways.

(d) The state road commission shall likewise have authority as hereinabove granted to local authorities to determine by resolution and to impose restrictions as to the weight of vehicles operated upon any highway under the jurisdiction of said commission and such restrictions shall be effective when signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the highway or portion of any highway affected by such resolution.

§17C-17-13. Liability for damage to highway or structure.

(a) The owner, lessee or borrower of any vehicle, object, or contrivance driven or moved upon any highway or highway structure shall be liable for all damage which said highway or structure may sustain as a result of any illegal operation, driving, or moving of such vehicle, object, or contrivance, or as a result of operating, driving, or moving any vehicle, object, or contrivance weighing in excess of the maximum weight in this chapter but authorized by a special permit issued as provided in this article.

(b) Such damage may be recovered in civil action brought by the authorities in control of such highway or highway structure.

§17C-17-14. Penalties for violation of weight laws; impounding vehicles.

Any owner, lessee or borrower of a vehicle or combination of vehicles who operates or permits to be operated on any highway such vehicle or combination of vehicles with any axle load in excess of that permitted by sections eight and eight-a of this article, or with a total gross weight with load imposed upon the highway by any one group of two or more consecutive axles in excess of that permitted by section nine or eleven-a of this article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine scheduled in proportion to the amount of pounds in excess of the registered weight, or in excess of allowable weights for single axle, or in excess of allowable weights for groups of two or more consecutive axles, in accordance with the schedule in words and figures as follows:

Pounds in excess of registered weight, or in excess of allowable weights for single axle, or in excess of allowable weights for groups of two or more consecutive axles.

Amount

of Fine

1 to 4,000 $ 20.00

4,00 1to 5,000 $ 25.00

5,001 to 6,000 $ 60.00

6,001 to 7,000 $ 70.00

7,001 to 8,000 $ 80.00

8,001 to 9,000 $ 90.00

9,001 to 10,000 $ 100.00

10,001 to 11,000 $ 165.00

11,001 to 12,000 $ 180.00

12,001 to 13,000 $ 195.00

13,001 to 14,000 $ 210.00

14,001 to 15,000 $ 225.00

15,001 to 16,000 $ 320.00

16,001 to 17,000 $ 340.00

17,001 to 18,000 $ 360.00

18,001 to 19,000 $ 380.00

19,001 to 20,000 $ 400.00

20,001 to 21,000 $ 525.00

21,001 to 22,000 $ 550.00

22,001 to 23,000 $ 575.00

23,001 to 24,000 $ 600.00

24,001 to 25,000 $ 625.00

25,001 to 26,000 $ 780.00

26,001 to 27,000 $ 810.00

27,001 to 28,000 $ 840.00

28,001 to 29,000 $ 870.00

29,001 to 30,000 $ 900.00

30,001 to 40,000 $1,200.00

40,001 to 50,000 $1,400.00

50,001 and over $1,600.00

In the event any owner, lessee or borrower of a vehicle is charged with violating this section, the vehicle which is charged to be overloaded shall be impounded by the arresting officer and shall not be released to such owner, lessee or borrower unless and until such owner, lessee or borrower either shall have been found guilty and paid any fine assessed against such owner, lessee or borrower, or shall have furnished cash or surety bond in at least double the amount of the fine which may be assessed against such owner, lessee or borrower for such violation of this section and conditioned upon the payment of any such fine and costs assessed for such violation, or shall have been acquitted of such charge. Such owner, lessee or borrower shall be liable for any reasonable storage costs incurred in storing such vehicles: Provided, That if the owner of such vehicle is a resident of or has a principal place of business located in this state, and said vehicle has been duly licensed in the state, then said vehicle shall not be impounded but the arresting officer shall deliver to the driver a written notice stating such violation; the place, date and time; the license number of said vehicle; the title number and name and address of the owner; the driver's name, address, and the number of his operator's or chauffeur's card or permit; and the court, place, date and time for hearing, which shall be within five days of such violation (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, excluded). A copy of such notice shall within forty-eight hours be mailed to the owner of said vehicle. Upon the failure by such owner or his or its agent to appear at the designated place and time, or upon failure to pay the fine and costs assessed for such violation, unless such owner shall have been acquitted of such charge, the court shall order a bond or the impounding of said vehicle as provided in this section.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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