Backyard Vehicle Restoration Jobs Again Under Siege in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.V. — For the third time, a bill (S.B. 143) has been introduced in the West Virginia State Legislature by State Senator Frank Deem (fdeem@mail.wvnet.edu) that would further restrict the ability of West Virginia vehicle hobbyists from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property.

    The bill would redefine “abandoned motor vehicles” to include vehicles or vehicle parts which are either unlicensed or inoperable, or both, are not in an enclosed building and have remained on private property for more than 30 days.  Under current law, the abandoned vehicle law applies primarily to vehicles on public property. The bill would make violation a misdemeanor offense punishable by substantial fines, community service and jail.

    SEMA urges West Virginia hobbyists to contact members of the West Virginia Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to voice their opposition to S.B. 143.

    SEMA believes the bill would give authorities an inordinate amount of power in determining the disposition of project cars. It would also would make it extremely difficult for West Virginia hobbyists to maintain inoperable collector vehicles on private property. Such a bill demonstrates a disregard and lack of understanding of the vehicle hobby and the rights of hobbyists, and it makes no legal distinction between an owner using private property as a dumping ground and a vehicle enthusiast working to maintain, restore or construct a vehicle. 

    Opponents to this bill are urged to contact members of the West Virginia Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by phone or e-mail to voice your opposition to this bill. The committee is chaired by Senator John Unger, who can be reached at 304-357-7933 or unger@mail.wvnet.edu.  SEMA asks that a copy of your letter be e-mailed to stevem@sema.org.

Please contact members of the West Virginia Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by phone or e-mail to voice your opposition to this bill. 

West Virginia Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Senator John Unger – Chair
Phone: 304/357-7933
Email: unger@mail.wvnet.edu

Senator Evan Jenkins
Phone: 304/357-7956
Email: ejenkins@mail.wvnet.ed

Senator John Fanning
Phone: 304/357-7867
Email: fanning@mail.wvnet.edu

Senator Shirley Love
Phone: 304/357-7849
Email: shlove@mail.wvnet.edu

Senator Ron Stollings
Phone: 304/357-7939
Email: ron.stollings@verizon.net

Senator Randy White
Phone: 304/357-7906
Email: crwhite@mail.wvnet.edu

Senator Clark Barnes
Phone: 304/357-7973
Email: cbarnes@mail.wvnet.edu

Senator Karen Facemyer
Phone: 304/357-7855
Email: kfacemyer@mail.wvnet.edu

Senator Andy McKenzie
Phone: 304/357-7984
Email: senatormckenzie@aol.com

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