Texting while driving and handheld cell phone use are banned. Instruction permit and intermediate license holders under 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving.
Citizen band radio channel 9 is not monitored for emergency calls. Emergency cell number is *SP.
No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.
Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.
The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws. NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.
West Virginia requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.
Move Over Law
State law requires drivers approaching and traveling in the same direction as a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, including a tow truck, that is flashing lights, to change to a non-adjacent lane if safe to do so, or to slow to no more than 15 mph on a non-divided highway or 25 mph on a divided highway.
Seat belts are required for the driver and all front seat passengers age 18 and older.
Violation of the seat belt law is a standard offense.
Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is permitted.
Child Passenger Safety
Children ages 8 until 18 must be in a seat belt in all seats.
Children under age 8 must be restrained in a child passenger safety device.
Children under age 8 and at least 4 feet 9 inches may be in a safety belt in all seats.
Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.
The driver of a vehicle must stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of a railroad when: (1) a clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train; (2) a crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal of the approach of the passage of a railroad train; (3) a railroad train approaching within 1,500 feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from such a distance; or (4) an approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to such a crossing.
It is not permissible to drive a vehicle through, around, or under a crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while a gate or barrier is closed, or is being opened or closed.
The driver of a motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire, or of any bus, or of any vehicle carrying explosive substances, flammable liquids, or hazardous materials as cargo, or any vehicle owned by an employer which, in carrying out business, is carrying more than 6 employees of the employer must, before crossing at any track or tracks of the railroad, stop the vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet of the nearest rail. While stopped, the driver shall listen and look in both directions for an approaching train, or signals of an approaching train, and must not proceed until it is safe to do so. The driver must cross the tracks in a gear that does not require changing of the gears, and must not change gears while crossing.
The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus that has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children, must stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus when the school bus is displaying flashing warning signal lights, and must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed, or the visual signals are no longer actuated. The driver of a vehicle upon a controlled access highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus that is on a different roadway or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.
Every school bus for the transportation of school children must bear on the front and rear a plainly visible sign that contains the words “school bus” in letters not less than 8 inches in height. Every school bus must display lighted headlamps when on the highway.