West Virginia law authorizes autonomous vehicles

June 2, 2022

Keith Goble

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A new West Virginia law authorizes the use of fully autonomous vehicles, including commercial vehicles, on state roadways.

Gov. Jim Justice signed into law a bill to allow vehicles with automated driving systems to operate on state roadways and highways.

Details of new rule

Previously HB4787, the new law authorizes a fully autonomous vehicle to operate without a human driver. The main requirement is that the automated driving system be engaged.

Prior to operation, a law enforcement interaction plan must be submitted to the state that shows how to communicate with a fleet “support specialist” who is available during the times of operation. Information also must be available about how to safely remove the vehicle from the roadway.

Additionally, law enforcement must be informed how to recognize whether the vehicle is in autonomous mode.

Proof of financial responsibility satisfactory to the Department of Motor Vehicles that the fully autonomous vehicle is covered by insurance must be submitted prior to operation.

If a wreck occurs, the vehicle must remain at the scene and the owner must report the incident.

Platoons of up to three vehicles would be permitted. Affected vehicles must travel only on limited access highways or interstate highways, unless otherwise permitted by the Department of Transportation or the West Virginia Division of Highways.

Movement may be restricted for operational or safety reasons.

The rule takes effect on June 10. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from West Virginia.

 

Lucas Oil

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.