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2016 SESSION


CHAPTER 302
An Act to amend and reenact 46.2-750 and 46.2-1077 of the Code of Virginia, relating to motor vehicles equipped with televisions and video; not within view of driver; license plates on vehicles owned by the Commonwealth.
[S 286]
Approved March 7, 2016

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 46.2-750 and 46.2-1077 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

46.2-750. Vehicles of Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, and regional jail authorities.

A. Motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers owned by the Commonwealth, political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, and regional jail authorities created pursuant to Article 3.1 ( 53.1-95.2 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 53.1 and used solely for governmental purposes shall be registered and shall display license plates as provided in this section. The fee for such license plates shall be equal to the cost incurred by the Department in the purchase or manufacture of such license plates. The fees received by the Commissioner under this section shall be paid into the state treasury and shall be set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

License plates issued for vehicles owned by the Commonwealth, except plates issued to be used on vehicles (i) on vehicles devoted solely to police work, (ii) used by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to the extent approved by the Governor, or (iii) used by an institution of higher education solely for purposes of vehicle technology research, or (iv) used by the Governor and the Attorney General, shall have conspicuously and legibly inscribed, stamped, or printed thereon words stating that the vehicle is for official state use only. The Commissioner shall reserve a unique series of numbers for use on such license plates and shall provide for a design and combination of colors which distinguish such license plates from those issued for vehicles owned by the political subdivisions of the Commonwealth.

License plates issued for vehicles owned by political subdivisions of the Commonwealth and regional jail authorities, except such plates issued to be used (i) on vehicles used by any local or regional economic development authority, agency, instrumentality, or organization, upon the request of the chief administrative officer of the affected locality (or, in the case of regional organizations, the chief administrative officer of any of the affected localities) or (ii) on vehicles devoted solely to police work, shall have conspicuously and legibly inscribed, stamped, or printed thereon words stating that the vehicle is for official local government use only. The Commissioner shall reserve a unique series of numbers for use on such license plates and shall provide for a design and combination of colors which distinguish such license plates from those issued for vehicles owned by the Commonwealth.

No other license plates shall be used on vehicles for which official use plates have been issued, except for vehicles used solely for police work and as provided in subsection B of this section.

B. In addition to any other license plate authorized by this section, the Commissioner may issue permanent or temporary license plates for use on vehicles owned by the Commonwealth or any of its departments, institutions, boards, or agencies and used for security or transportation purposes in conjunction with conferences, meetings, or other events involving the Governor or members of the General Assembly. No state agency shall use government funds to cover the costs of any license plates issued under this subsection. The design of these license plates shall be at the discretion of the Commissioner. These license plates shall be issued under the following conditions:

1. For each set of permanent license plates issued, the Commissioner shall charge a fee of $100. The Commissioner shall limit the validity of any set of license plates issued under this subdivision to no more than 30 consecutive days. The Commissioner's written authorization for use of any set of license plates issued under this subdivision shall be kept in the vehicle on which the license plates are displayed until expiration of the authorization.

2. The Commissioner shall limit the validity of each set of temporary license plates to no more than 14 consecutive days. For each set of temporary license plates, the Commissioner shall charge a fee of $25 for the first set and $2 for each additional set. The Commissioner's written authorization for use of any set of license plates issued under this subdivision shall be kept in the vehicle on which the license plates are displayed until expiration of the authorization.

46.2-1077. Motor vehicles not to be equipped with television within view of driver; viewing motion pictures or similar displays while driving.

A. No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall be equipped with, nor shall there be used therein, a television receiver when the moving images are visible to the driver while the vehicle is in motion. The operator of a motor vehicle that is not required to be registered in Virginia the Commonwealth shall not operate a television receiver that violates the provisions of this section while driving in the Commonwealth.

The prohibitions contained in this subsection shall not, however, include:

1. Electronic displays used in conjunction with vehicle navigation and mapping systems, or as part of a digital dispatch system;

2. Closed circuit video monitors designed to operate only in conjunction with dedicated video cameras and used in rear-view systems on trucks, motor homes, and other motor vehicles;

3. Television receivers or monitors used in government-owned vehicles by law-enforcement officers and employees of the Virginia Department of Transportation in the course of their official duties;

4. Visual displays used to enhance or supplement the driver's view forward, behind, or to the sides of a motor vehicle for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle;

5. A vehicle information display;

6. A visual display used to enhance or supplement a driver's view of vehicle occupants;

7. Television-type receiving equipment used exclusively for safety or traffic engineering information; or

8. A television receiver, video monitor, television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or signal moving image, if that equipment is factory-installed and has an interlock device that, when the motor vehicle operator is driven performing one or more of the driving tasks, disables the equipment for all uses so that such moving images are not visible to the motor vehicle operator except as a visual display described in subdivisions 1 through 7. For the purposes of this subdivision, "driving task" means all of the real-time functions required to operate a vehicle in on-road traffic, excluding the selection of destinations and waypoints, and including steering, turning, lane keeping and lane changing, accelerating, and decelerating.

B. Except for displays explicitly authorized in subsection A, no driver of any motor vehicle shall view any motion picture or similar video display while driving.