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Enrolled Version - Final Version House Bill 2701 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia legislature

2021 regular session

ENROLLED

House Bill 2701

By Delegate Capito

[Passed March 22, 2021; in effect ninety days from passage.]


 

AN ACT to amend and reenact §17B-2B-1, §17B-2B-2, §17B-2B-4 and §17B-2B-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to authorizing the Division of Rehabilitation Services to approve acceptable training programs required for low vision individuals to obtain a Class G driver’s license. 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


Article 2B. LICENSE TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE WITH BIOPTIC TELESCOPIC DEVICE.   

 § 17B-2B-1. Definitions.

For purposes of this article, the following terms have the meaning indicated:

(1) “Applicant” means any person applying for a Class G instruction permit or license to operate a motor vehicle in this state who must use a bioptic telescopic device to meet the commissioner’s minimum visual acuity and visual field standards for licensure.

(2) “Approved driver training program” means a program that:

(A) Provides and coordinates comprehensive assessment and training of driving skills and responses;

(B) Emphasizes clinical and functional vision skills, predriver readiness skills and the physical, mental and social driving skills of an applicant; and

(C) Is approved by the Division of Rehabilitation Services, after consultation with the division.

(3) “Bioptic telescopic device” means a two focus optical system used to magnify distant objects by including a small telescope that is mounted in a spectacle lens so as to allow an unobstructed view of the horizontal visual field through normal distance corrective lenses.

(4) “Corrective lenses” means eyeglasses, contact lenses, and intraocular lenses, but does not mean a bioptic telescopic device.

(5) “Daytime driving restriction” means a limitation on the operation of a motor vehicle to:

(A) The period of time between 30 minutes after sunrise and 30 minutes before sunset; and

(B) Weather conditions that do not significantly reduce the visibility of the roadway, other traffic, and traffic control devices.

(6) “Field expander” means a device used to compensate for peripheral visual field loss.

(7) “Restricted out-of-state driver” means a person who has been issued, by another state, a valid driver’s license with a restriction requiring the driver to use a bioptic telescopic device.

(8) “Vision specialist” means a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist.

(9) “Visual acuity” means the measure of a person’s clarity of vision based on the Snellen visual acuity scale.

(10) “Visual field” means the area of physical space visible to the eye in a given fixed position.

§ 17B-2B-2. Class G instruction permit or driver’s license; participation in approved driver training program; eligibility criteria; required curriculum. 


(a) A person who does not meet the visual acuity and visual field standards established by the commissioner for licensure to operate a motor vehicle in this state, but who is able to satisfy the minimum vision requirements using a bioptic telescopic device is eligible for a Class G instruction permit or driver’s license pursuant to this article if he or she is participating in or has successfully completed an approved driver training program.

(b) An applicant is eligible to participate in an approved driver training program if he or she:

(1) Submits to the commissioner and to the Division of Rehabilitation Services a report of examination by a vision specialist, on a form prescribed by the Division of Rehabilitation Services, which certifies that:

(A) In the opinion of the vision specialist, the applicant’s vision can be corrected with the use of a bioptic telescopic device and without field expanders to satisfy the minimum visual acuity and visual field standards established by the commissioner;

(B) No ocular diagnosis or prognosis currently exists or is likely to occur during the period of licensure which would cause deterioration of the applicant’s visual acuity or visual field to levels below the commissioner’s minimum visual acuity and visual field standards for licensure; and

(C) The applicant is a likely candidate for acceptance into an approved driver training program; and

(2) Satisfies any other criteria for participation established by the Division of Rehabilitation Services.

(c) An approved driver training program shall include, at a minimum:

(1) Predriving instruction with regard to highway signs and the rules of the road;

(2) Predriving instruction in proper use of bioptic telescopic devices; and

(3) At least 30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in driving with bioptic telescopic devices.

(d) The Division of Rehabilitation Services, or its approved driver training program, may waive predriving instruction with regard to highway signs and the rules of the road pursuant to subdivision (1), subsection (c) of this section if the applicant:

(1) Has at least three years of experience driving with an unrestricted license; and

(2) Passes the written examination provided in §17B-2B-3(a)(2) of this code.

§ 17B-2B-4. Class G driver’s license; eligibility criteria; duration of license; surrender of current license; provisions not applicable to persons already licensed to drive with bioptic device. 


(a) A person who has obtained a Class G instruction permit may obtain a Class G driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle if he or she has:

(1) Been certified by the Division of Rehabilitation Services, or its approved driver training program, as having successfully completed an approved driver training program, along with any recommendations regarding license restrictions or modifications, including, but not limited to:

(A) Special adaptive equipment;

(B) Hours of permitted operation;

(C) Types of roads on which the applicant may operate a vehicle; and

(D) How far from home the applicant may operate a vehicle;

(2) Submitted to the commissioner and to the Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Services, on a form prescribed by the Division of Rehabilitation Services, a report of examination by a vision specialist, conducted after the applicant completes the approved driver training program, certifying that the applicant continues to meet the minimum visual acuity and visual field standards established by the commissioner for licensure to operate a motor vehicle;

(3) Successfully completed a comprehensive road skills examination, conducted at a location determined by the commissioner, with a certified driver rehabilitation specialist or driver rehabilitation educator in the test vehicle along with the driving examiner. The comprehensive road skills examination shall include, at a minimum:

(A) A “passenger in car” test with bioptic telescopic device in place designed to test competency in using the bioptic telescopic device under stationary and dynamic conditions;

(B) A maneuverability skills test; and

(C) A standardized on-road test designed to test driving competency of the applicant; and

(4) Satisfied, at each stage of the licensing process, any additional requirements for licensure required by article two of this chapter that are not addressed in this article;

(b) If an applicant fails the comprehensive road skills examination three times, he or she is not eligible to retake the examination until he or she has successfully completed additional training in an approved driver training program and been recommended for retesting by the director of the program.

(c) An applicant who has a current license to operate a motor vehicle other than a Class G driver’s license must surrender his or her current driver’s license before the commissioner will issue a Class G driver’s license or instruction permit.

(d) Every Class G licensee must provide the commissioner with a report of examination by a vision specialist, conducted no more than three months prior to the annual anniversary of the issuance of the license, certifying that the applicant continues to meet the minimum visual acuity and visual field standards established by the commissioner for licensure to operate a motor vehicle. The report shall be submitted on a form prescribed by the commissioner.

§17B-2B-6. Restricted out-of-state drivers; required to obtain Class G driver’s license; surrender of current license; waiver of requirement to participate in an approved driver training program.


(a) A restricted out-of-state driver establishing residence in West Virginia must apply for a Class G driver’s license in this state.

(b) To obtain a Class G driver’s license, the restricted out-of-state driver must:

(1) Satisfy all the requirements of licensure contained in sections three and four of this article;

(2) Surrender his or her out-of-state driver’s license to the commissioner; and

(3) Provide the commissioner with a report of examination by a vision specialist, conducted no more than 90-days prior to the application, showing that the applicant meets the minimum vision standards.

(c) If, based upon an evaluation of the out-of-state driver’s abilities, along with any recommendations, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, or its approved driver training program, certifies to the commissioner that the restricted out-of-state driver was required, as a condition of licensure in the other state, to complete training substantially equivalent to the approved driver training program required by this article, the commissioner may waive the requirement that the restricted out-of-state driver complete an approved driver training program in this state prior to licensure.


The Joint Committee on Enrolled Bills hereby certifies that the foregoing bill is correctly enrolled.

 

 

...............................................................

        Chairman, House Committee

 

 

                     ...............................................................

                             Chairman, Senate Committee

                                                   

 

Originating in the House.

 

In effect ninety days from passage.

 

 

...............................................................

                  Clerk of the House of Delegates

 

 

                     ...............................................................

                                                   Clerk of the Senate

 

 

                                    ...............................................................

                                            Speaker of the House of Delegates

 

 

                                                            ...............................................................

                                                                           President of the Senate

 

 

__________

 

 

 

      The within ................................................... this the...........................................

 

day of ..........................................................................................................., 2021.

 

 

                                                .............................................................

                                                                                                Governor

 

 

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