The Legislature hereby finds that for the purpose of protecting the lives of workmen, other persons and railroad equipment there shall be maintained at the rear of cabooses illumination when they are being pushed during hours of darkness.
(a) From the effective date of this article, there shall be maintained at the rear of all cabooses, while cabooses are being pushed during the hours of darkness, either a handheld or installed backup light which shall have sufficient candlepower to illuminate the track for a distance of at least two hundred fifty feet under clear atmospheric conditions on all local and mine runs.
(b) Every railroad company operating within this state shall be required to comply with the provisions of this article, but shall have one year from the effective date hereof to comply with such requirements.
(c) The provisions of this article shall apply to all local and mine run cabooses.
Any railroad company operating a caboose to which the illumination requirements of section two of this article apply shall not be in violation of said article if the failure of lighting equipment required under the provisions of this article is corrected at the first point maintenance supplies are available, or in the case of repairs, the first point at which materials and repair facilities are available and repairs can reasonably be made.
Runs originating from without the State of West Virginia shall be exempt from the requirements of this article.
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Public Service Commission. If any railroad company violates the provisions of this article, it shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 for each violation.
With the exception of intentional misconduct or negligence on the part of the employee, this article shall not be construed to impose any individual responsibility upon any railroad employee for damage to his employer due to breakage or loss of use while the employee is engaged in handling the lights as required by this article.
This article shall be construed as imposing upon the employer responsibility for securing and maintaining the lights required by this article.