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§17C-1-1. Definitions generally.

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this article.

§17C-1-2. Vehicle.

"Vehicle" means every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or wheelchairs.

§17C-1-3. Motor vehicle.

"Motor vehicle" means every vehicle which is self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails, except motorized wheelchairs.

§17C-1-4. Motorcycle.

"Motorcycle" means every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor.

§17C-1-5. Motor-driven cycle.

"Motor-driven cycle" means every motorcycle having a piston displacement of more than fifty cubic centimeters but not more than one hundred fifty cubic centimeters, or with not more than five brake horsepower.

§17C-1-5a. Moped.

"Moped" means every motorcycle or motor-driven cycle unless otherwise specified in this chapter, which is equipped with two or three wheels, foot pedals to permit muscular propulsion and an independent power source providing a maximum of two brake horsepower. If a combustion engine is used, the maximum piston or rotor displacement shall be fifty cubic centimeters regardless of the number of chambers in such power source. The power source shall be capable of propelling the vehicle, unassisted, at a speed not to exceed thirty miles per hour on a level road surface and shall be equipped with a power drive system that functions directly or automatically only, not requiring clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.

§17C-1-6. Authorized emergency vehicle.

"Authorized emergency vehicle" means vehicles of a fire department, duly chartered rescue squad, police department, ambulance service, state, county or municipal agency

and such privately owned ambulances, tow trucks, wreckers, flag car services, vehicles providing road service to disabled vehicles, service vehicles of a public service corporation, postal service vehicles, snow removal equipment, Class A vehicles of firefighters, Class A vehicles of members of ambulance services, and Class A vehicles of members of duly chartered rescue squads, and all other emergency vehicles as are designated by the agency responsible for the operation and control of these persons or organizations. Class A vehicles are as defined by section one, article ten, chapter seventeen-a of this code. Agency authorization and emergency equipment are defined in section twenty-six, article fifteen, chapter seventeen-c of this code. Agencies responsible for issuing authorization for emergency vehicle permits may promulgate such regulations that are necessary for the issuance of permits for emergency vehicles.

§17C-1-7. School bus.

"School bus" means every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency and operated for the transportation of children to or from school or privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of children to or from school.

§17C-1-8. Bicycle.

"Bicycle" means every device which does not have a motor attached and which is propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is more than twenty inches in diameter.

§17C-1-9. Truck tractor.

"Truck tractor" means every motor vehicle designed and used primarily for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and load so drawn.

§17C-1-10. Farm tractor.

"Farm tractor" means every motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a farm implement for drawing plows, mowing machines, and other implements of husbandry.

§17C-1-11. Road tractor.

"Road tractor" means every motor vehicle designed and used for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry any load thereon either independently or any part of the weight of a vehicle or load so drawn.

§17C-1-12. Truck.

"Truck" means every motor vehicle designed, used or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.

§17C-1-13. Bus.

"Bus" means every motor vehicle designed for carrying more than seven passengers and used for the transportation of persons; and every motor vehicle, other than a taxicab, designed and used for the transportation of persons for compensation.

§17C-1-14. Trackless trolley coach.

"Trackless trolley coach" means every motor vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires but not operated upon rails.

§17C-1-15. Trailer.

"Trailer" means every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that no part of its weight rests upon the towing vehicle.

§17C-1-16. Semitrailer.

"Semitrailer" means every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that some part of its weight and that of its load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle.

§17C-1-17. Pole trailer.

"Pole trailer" means every vehicle without motive power designed to be drawn by another vehicle and attached to the towing vehicle by means of a reach, or pole, or by being boomed or otherwise secured to the towing vehicle, and ordinarily used for transporting long or irregularly shaped loads such as poles, pipes, trusses, or structural members capable, generally, of sustaining themselves as beams between the supporting connections.

§17C-1-18. Pneumatic tire.

"Pneumatic tire" means every tire in which compressed air is designed to support the load.

§17C-1-19. Solid tire.

"Solid tire" means every tire of rubber or other resilient material which does not depend upon compressed air for the support of the load.

§17C-1-20. Metal tire.

"Metal tire" means every tire the surface of which in contact with the highway is wholly or partly of metal or other hard nonresilient material.

§17C-1-21. Railroad.

"Railroad" means a carrier of persons or property upon cars, other than streetcars, operated upon stationary rails.

§17C-1-22. Railroad train.

"Railroad train" means a steam engine, electric or other motor, with or without cars coupled thereto, operated upon rails, except streetcars.

§17C-1-23. Streetcar.

"Streetcar" means a car other than a railroad train for transporting persons or property and operated upon rails principally within a municipality.

§17C-1-24. Explosives.

"Explosives" means any chemical compound or mechanical mixture that is commonly used or intended for the purpose of producing an explosive and which contains any oxidizing and combustive units or other ingredients in such proportions, quantities, or packing that an ignition by fire, by friction, by concussion, by percussion, or by detonator of any part of the compound or mixture may cause such a sudden generation of highly heated gases that the resultant gaseous pressures are capable of producing destructive effects on contiguous objects or of destroying life or limb.

§17C-1-25. Flammable liquid.

"Flammable liquid" means any liquid which has a flash point of seventy degrees Fahrenheit, or less, as determined by a tagliabue or equivalent closed-cup test device.

§17C-1-26. Gross weight.

"Gross weight" means the weight of a vehicle without load plus the weight of any load thereon.

§17C-1-27. Commissioner.

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of this state.

§17C-1-28. Division.

"Division" means the Division of Motor Vehicles of this state acting directly or through its duly authorized officers and agents. Wherever in this chapter reference is made to "the department of motor vehicles" or "the department", unless a different meaning is clearly required, the reference shall be deemed to be a reference to the Division of Motor Vehicles.

§17C-1-29. Person.

"Person" means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation.

§17C-1-30. Pedestrian.

"Pedestrian" means any person afoot or any person using a wheelchair.

§17C-1-31. Driver.

"Driver" means every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

§17C-1-32. Owner.

"Owner" means a person who holds the legal title of a vehicle or in the event a vehicle is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale or lease thereof with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, or in the event a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession, then such conditional vendee or lessee or mortgagor shall be deemed the owner for the purpose of this chapter.

§17C-1-33. Police officer.

"Police officer" means every officer authorized to direct or regulate traffic or to make arrests for violations of traffic regulations.

§17C-1-34. Local authorities.

"Local authorities" means every county, municipal, and other local board or body having authority to enact laws relating to traffic under the Constitution and laws of this state.

§17C-1-35. Street or highway.

"Street" or "highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

§17C-1-36. Private road or driveway; private property.

(a) "Private road" or "driveway" means every way or place in private ownership and used for vehicular travel by the owner and those having express or implied permission from the owner, but not by other persons.

(b) "Private property" means real estate in private ownership without regard to the manner in which it is used.

§17C-1-37. Roadway.

"Roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term "roadway" as used herein shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.

§17C-1-38. Sidewalk.

"Sidewalk" means that portion of a street between the curb lines, or the lateral lines of a roadway, and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians.

§17C-1-39. Laned roadway.

"Laned roadway" means a roadway which is divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for vehicular traffic.

§17C-1-40. Through highway.

"Through highway" means every highway or portion thereof at the entrances to which vehicular traffic from intersecting highways is required by law to stop before entering or crossing the same and when stop signs are erected as provided in this chapter.

§17C-1-41. Controlled-access highway.

"Controlled-access highway" means every highway, street, or roadway in respect to which owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons have no legal right of access to or from the same except at such points only and in such manner as may be determined by the public authority having jurisdiction over such highway, street, or roadway.

§17C-1-42. Intersection.

"Intersection" includes: (a) The area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curb lines, or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two highways which join one another at, or approximately at, right angles, or the area within which vehicles traveling upon different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict; and

(b) Where a highway includes two roadways thirty feet or more apart, then every crossing of each roadway of such divided highway by an intersecting highway shall be regarded as a separate intersection. In the event such intersecting highway also includes two roadways thirty feet or more apart, then every crossing of two roadways of such highways shall be regarded as a separate intersection.

§17C-1-43. Crosswalk.

"Crosswalk" includes: (a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway; and

(b) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

§17C-1-44. Safety zone.

"Safety zone" means the area or space officially set apart within a roadway for the exclusive use of pedestrians and which is protected or is so marked or indicated by adequate signs as to be plainly visible at all times while set apart as a safety zone.

§17C-1-45. Business district.

"Business district" means the territory contiguous to and including a highway when within any six hundred feet along such highway there are buildings in use for business or industrial purposes, including but not limited to hotels, banks, or office buildings, railroad stations, and public buildings which occupy at least three hundred feet of frontage on one side or three hundred feet collectively on both sides of the highway.

§17C-1-46. Residence district.

"Residence district" means the territory contiguous to and including a highway not comprising a business district when the property on such highway for a distance of three hundred feet or more is in the main improved with residences or residences and buildings in use for business.

§17C-1-47. Traffic-control devices.

"Traffic-control devices" means all signs, signals, markings, and devices not inconsistent with this chapter placed or erected by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction, for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic.

§17C-1-48. Traffic-control signal.

"Traffic-control signal" means any device, whether manually, electrically, or mechanically operated, by which traffic is alternately directed to stop and to proceed.

§17C-1-49. Railroad sign or signal.

"Railroad sign" or "signal" means any sign, signal, or device erected by authority of a public body or official or by a railroad and intended to give notice of the presence of railroad tracks or the approach of a railroad train.

§17C-1-50. Traffic.

"Traffic" means pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars, and other conveyances either singly or together while using any highway for purposes of travel.

§17C-1-51. Right-of-way.

"Right-of-way" means the privilege of the immediate use of the highway.

§17C-1-52. Stop.

"Stop," when required, means complete cessation from movement.

§17C-1-53. Stop, stopping, or standing.

"Stop,""stopping," or "standing," when prohibited, means any stopping or standing of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic- control sign or signal.

§17C-1-54. Park

"Park," when prohibited, means the standing of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, otherwise than temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading.

§17C-1-55. School grounds.

"School grounds" includes the land on which a school is built together with such other land used by students for play, recreation or athletic events while attending school.

§17C-1-56. Axle group.

"Axle group" means an assemblage of two or more consecutive axles considered together in determining their combined load effect on a bridge or pavement structure. The determination of what constitutes an axle group may include any or all the axles on the vehicle or combination of vehicles.

§17C-1-57. Tandem axle.

"Tandem axle" means any two or more consecutive axles whose centers are more than forty inches but not more than ninety-six inches apart, and are individually attached to and/or articulated from a common attachment to the vehicle including a connecting mechanism designed to equalize the load between axles.

§17C-1-58. Tandem axle weight.

"Tandem axle weight" means the total weight transmitted to the road by two or more consecutive axles whose centers may be included between parallel transverse planes spaced more than forty inches and not more than ninety-six inches apart, extending the full width of the vehicle.

§17C-1-59. Connecting mechanism.

"Connecting mechanism" means an arrangement of parts interconnecting two or more consecutive axles to the frame of a vehicle in such a manner as to equalize the load between axles.

§17C-1-60. Parking area.

"Parking area" means lots, areas or other accommodations for the parking of vehicles off the street or highway and open to public use with or without charge.

§17C-1-61. Institution of higher education.

The term "institution of higher education" shall mean "state colleges," "state college," "state universities" and "universities," "state university," and "university," and "community college" as defined in subsection (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f), section two, article twenty-six, chapter eighteen of this code and any other institution as defined by sections 401 (f), (g), (h) of the Federal Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963, as amended.

§17C-1-62. Residential street.

"Residential street" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way, whether publicly or privately maintained, located within any subdivision, development or other similar area used primarily for residential purposes when any part thereof is open to the common use of those living in said area for the purpose of vehicular travel.

§17C-1-63. Digger/derrick line truck.

"Digger/derrick line truck" means a truck which is specifically designed and used for transporting and setting utility poles.

§17C-1-64. Passenger van.

"Passenger van" means any van or other motor vehicle owned by any agency, business or other legal entity and operated for the purpose of transportation of children under the age of eighteen years, other than a van utilized for private use, taxicab, bus or school bus. Passenger vans include, but are not limited to, vehicles used by day-care centers, after-school centers and nursery schools: Provided, That the term "passenger van" does not include any van or other motor vehicle which is utilized for the specific purpose of transporting children to medical facilities for the purpose of medical or dental treatment and which loads and unloads the children on private property, making no stops for loading or unloading along public roads or highways.

§17C-1-65. Wheelchair.

"Wheelchair" means a motorized or nonmotorized wheeled device designed for, and used by, a person with disabilities that is incapable of a speed in excess of eight miles per hour.

§17C-1-66. Electric personal assistive mobility device.

"Electric personal assistive mobility device" or "EPAMD" means a self-balancing, two nontandem-wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system with average power of seven hundred fifty watts (one horse power), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a propulsion system while ridden by an operator who weighs one hundred seventy pounds, is less than twenty miles per hour.

§17C-1-67. Drug.

"Drug" has the same meaning as set forth in section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code, the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, that when taken into the human body can impair the ability of a person to operate a vehicle safely and in compliance with traffic regulations and the laws of the road.

§17C-1-68. Controlled substance.

"Controlled substance" means any substance classified under the provisions of chapter sixty-a of this code, the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, and includes all substances listed on Schedules I through V, inclusive, of article two of said chapter, as revised.

§17C-1-69. Autocycle.

“Autocycle” means a fully or partially enclosed motorcycle that is equipped with safety belts, rollover protection, a rearview mirror, automotive seating, a steering wheel and equipment otherwise required on a motorcycle and which has no more than three wheels in contact with the roadway at any one time.

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