SB354 SUB1 enr
Senate Bill No. 354
(Senators Kessler and Unger, original sponsors)
[Passed March 8, 2010; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §17C-4-1, §17C-4-2, §17C-4-3, §17C-4-5,
§17C-4-6, §17C-4-7, §17C-4-8, §17C-4-9, §17C-4-10, §17C-4-11,
§17C-4-14, §17C-4-15 and §17C-4-16 of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to reporting crashes
to a law-enforcement agency; updating certain terminology;
increasing property damage notification threshold; setting
penalties for certain crashes; updating law-enforcement
reporting requirements; and changing responsibility for
receiving reports and preparation of reports to the Division
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-4-1, §17C-4-2, §17C-4-3, §17C-4-5, §17C-4-6,
§17C-4-7, §17C-4-8, §17C-4-9, §17C-4-10, §17C-4-11, §17C-4-14,
§17C-4-15 and §17C-4-16 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as
amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. CRASHES.
§17C-4-1. Crashes involving death or personal injuries.
(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in
injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle
at the scene of the crash or as close thereto as possible but shall
then forthwith return to and shall remain at the scene of the crash
until he or she has complied with the requirements of section three
of this article: Provided,
That the driver may leave the scene of
the crash as may reasonably be necessary for the purpose of
rendering assistance to an injured person as required by said
section three. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing
traffic more than is necessary.
(b) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of
this section after being involved in a crash resulting in the death
of any person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof,
shall be punished by confinement in a correctional facility for not
more than three years or fined not more than $5,000, or both.
(c) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of
this section after being involved in a crash resulting in physical
injury to any person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be punished by confinement in a regional
jail for not more than one year, or fined not more than $1,000, or
(d) The commissioner shall revoke the driver's license or
permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of any
person convicted pursuant to the provisions of this section for a
period of one year.
§17C-4-2. Crashes involving damage to vehicle.
The driver of any vehicle involved in
in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person
shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such
as close thereto as possible but shall forthwith return to and in
every event shall remain at the scene of such
until he has
fulfilled the requirements of section three of this article. Every
such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is
necessary. Any person failing to stop or comply with said
requirements under such circumstances is guilty of a misdemeanor
and, subject to the penalties prescribed in section one, article
eighteen of this chapter.
§17C-4-3. Duty to give information and render aid.
The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in
injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle which is
driven or attended by any person shall give his or her name,
address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is
driving and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her
driver's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of
or person attending any vehicle collided with and shall render to
any person injured in such crash reasonable assistance, including
the carrying, or the making arrangements for the carrying of such
person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical
treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if
such carrying is requested by the injured person.
§17C-4-5. Duty upon striking fixtures upon a highway.
The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting only
in damage to fixtures or other property legally upon or adjacent to
a highway shall take reasonable steps to locate and notify the
owner or person in charge of such property of such fact and of his
or her name and address and of the registration number of the
vehicle he or she is driving and shall upon request and if
available exhibit his or her driver's license and shall make report
of such crash when and as required in section seven of this
article. Any person failing to make the notification required by
this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall
be fined not more than $150.
§17C-4-6. Immediate notification of crashes.
The driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in
injury to or death of any person or total property damage to an
apparent extent of $1,000 or more shall immediately by the quickest
means of communication, give notice of such crash to the local
police department if such crash occurs within a municipality,
otherwise to the office of the county sheriff or the nearest office
of the West Virginia State Police.
§17C-4-7. Reports of crashes.
(a) Every law-enforcement officer who, in the regular course
of duty, investigates a motor vehicle crash occurring on the public
streets or highways of this state resulting in bodily injury to or
death of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent
of $1,000 or more shall, either at the time of and at the scene of
the crash or thereafter by interviewing participants or witnesses, within twenty-four hours after completing such investigation,
prepare report of such crash either electronically or in writing.
(b) The investigating law-enforcement officer shall submit the
report electronically or in writing within twenty-four hours after
completing the investigation to the Division of Highways in the
form and manner approved by the Commissioner of Highways, the
Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police and the
Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Division of Highways shall
supply electronic or paper copies of such form to police
departments, sheriffs and other appropriate law-enforcement
(c) In the event that the investigating law-enforcement
officer can not complete the investigation within ten days of the
crash, he or she shall submit a preliminary report of the crash to
the Division of Highways on the tenth day after the crash and
submit the final report within twenty-four hours of completion of
the investigation pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
§17C-4-8. When driver unable to report.
Whenever the driver of a vehicle is physically incapable of
making an immediate notification of a crash as required in section
six of this article and there was another occupant in the vehicle
at the time of the crash capable of making a notification, such
occupant shall make or cause to be made said notification not made
by the driver.
§17C-4-9. Crash report forms.
(a) The Division of Highways shall prepare and upon request supply to the State Police, municipal police departments, sheriffs,
Division of Natural Resources, and other suitable agencies or
individuals, electronic or paper forms for crash reports required
(b) The format of the crash reports shall provide sufficiently
detailed information to disclose with reference to a traffic crash
the cause, conditions then existing, and the persons and vehicles
(c) Every crash report required to be made shall be made in
the appropriate form provided by the Division of Highways and shall
contain all of the information required therein unless not
(d) Every such report shall also contain information
sufficient to enable the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to
determine whether the requirements for security upon motor vehicles
is in effect in accordance with chapter seventeen-d of this code.
§17C-4-10. Penalty for failure to notify law enforcement.
The commissioner may suspend the driver's license or permit to
drive and any nonresident operating privileges of any person
failing to notify law enforcement of a crash as herein provided
under section six of this article. Any person convicted of failing
to notify law enforcement as required herein shall be punished as
provided in section one, article eighteen of this chapter.
§17C-4-11. Coroners to report on crash victims.
Every coroner or other official performing like functions
shall on or before the tenth day of each month report in writing to the Division of Highways the death of any person within his or her
jurisdiction during the preceding calendar month as the result of
a traffic crash giving the name of the victim, the date, time and
place of the crash and the circumstances relating thereto.
§17C-4-14. Division of Highways to tabulate and analyze crash
Division of Highways
shall tabulate and may analyze all
crash reports and shall publish annually, or at more frequent
intervals, statistical information based thereon as to the number
and circumstances of traffic crashes.
§17C-4-15. Any incorporated city, town, etc., may require crash
Any incorporated city, town, village or other municipality may
by ordinance require that the driver of a vehicle involved in a
crash shall file with a designated city department a report of such
crash. All such reports shall be for the confidential use of the
§17C-4-16. Crashes involving state and municipal property;
reports to be provided.
Whenever a report of a motor vehicle crash prepared by a
member of the West Virginia State Police, conservation officer of
the Division of Natural Resources, a member of a county sheriff's
department or a municipal police officer, in the regular course of
their duties, indicates that as a result of such crash damage has
occurred to any bridge, sign, guardrail or other property, exclusive of licensed motor vehicles, a copy of such report shall,
in the case of such property belonging to the Division of Highways,
be provided to the Commissioner of the Division of Highways, and,
in the case of such property belonging to a municipality, be
provided to the mayor of that municipality. The copies of such
reports shall be provided to the commissioner or mayor, as
applicable, without cost to them.