CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Legislature left funding for the state Courtesy Patrol out of the 2014-2015 budget. The governor signed the budget bill into law Thursday.

Courtesy Patrol Director Jennifer Douglass said she had no idea lawmakers had failed to set aside funding for the coming year. She found out late Thursday afternoon.

“If it means a special session [of the legislature] to get this resolved. I have the utmost respect and confidence that our legislators will do the right thing,” she said.

The Tomblin administration has talked about calling a special legislative session in May or June to discuss budget issues. The Courtesy Patrol is funded through June 30.

Douglass said she can’t image West Virginia’s interstate system without the men and women of the Courtesy Patrol.

“We’ve been out there for almost 16 years, assisted over 280,000 motorists,” according to Douglass. “There’s a huge value in having the program.

The Courtesy Patrol started out as a 24-hour program but was cut back during the Manchin administration to just 16 hours from 3 p.m. to 7 a.m., in order save money.

The program currently has an annual budget of $4.7 million through the Courtesy Patrol Fund. All that money comes from Lottery funds but has to be appropriated by the state legislature. She said the patrol is too important not to fully fund.

“They have a presence as far as safety on the highways, security, peace of mind just knowing that help is right around the corner, all the employment opportunities it provides for our state, the tourism friendly aspect of it,” stressed Douglass.

The Courtesy Patrol currently employs 80 workers who cover the entire state.

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  • mook

    All you bone heads missed the point of SAFETY! There are are plenty of times these folks are first the scene of a crash. How about one of those cell dead spots, and they are there first to call for help, and it's one of YOUR family member that needs the help and need to be flown out to get the care they need. Bet you guys would be singing a different tunelike ( we are here today put your relative in the ground)!!

  • Brian

    The service provided is a great thing though not a necessity. If motorists are required to have vehicle inspections, registrations and insurance, they're vested in traveling our roads already and other costs such as roadside assistance come with the turf as much as fuel does. Besides most insurance companies have 24 hr roadside assistance with their policy. Don't fund what you can't pay for wv legislature. If you're serious about having and paying for it, then how about a zero tolerance for uninsured motorists? Fines go towards funding the courtesy patrol! I can't stand the freeloaders without insurance driving our roads then crashing law abiding drivers' vehicles. We pay uninsured as well as our own insurance yet they don't even spend a dime after it's all done. Usually cars with OH plates parked in the driveways of WV residents in counties bordering OH

  • cutty77

    This one of THE BEST things ever done for WV,and its Highway's period.

  • The Answer

    Bookman what I meant people like you who stop and help are very few and far between.
    Just hope some day the authorities don't find your body floating in the Ohio River and your car in Detroit .
    Enough said..

    • The bookman

      Apology accepted

  • Cynara

    I'm as much for small government as anyone, but this is a reasonable use for state money. They not only help stranded motorists, but I've also seen them clear things like blown truck tires and dead deer out of the traffic lanes. Plus it gets people off welfare and working. There's probably better places to cut expenses.

  • wvajoker

    Safety?? How so when they impede the real service personnel like rescue squads and law enforcement?
    How do they impede these people?
    If they impeded law enforcement, wouldn't they be arrested?
    Are you out of your mind?

    • WhgFeeling

      Believe it or not I care less. I am just stating the fact. LE has much more to do at a scene than arrest courtesy patrol. They are simply told to move out of the way. My point was and is...they don't always know their role.

  • The Answer

    One last thing there is a lot difference in most people who drive Middle Mountain and the people who run up and down the interstate.

    • thornton

      The Answer is to not rely totally on others for The Answer to one's problems, Irregardless as they say around here, of the road, real or metaphorical, being driven.

  • The Answer

    Thornton wishing you best of luck with someone like bookman stopping on an interstate to help you. :-)
    Before you get run over by a tractor and trailer going 90 or someone not paying attention.

    • The bookman

      Stop and consider for a moment the traffic volume on the State's four lane highway system between 3pm and 7am vs the volume of traffic on those same highways between 7am and 3pm. Probably at least equivalent volume if not overall more vehicles during the 8 hours it's not covered by courtesy patrol. Throw in the remaining two lane system 24/7 that exists uncovered by courtesy patrol and the comparison isn't even close.

      So the majority of roadside assistance occurring along the highways in WV is by private sector service or good Samaritans. Safety is of course always a concern, and even more so on two lane roads where there is almost always no place to get the disabled vehicle off the highway. Not to mention that having a courtesy patrolman on scene doesn't change the environment of high speed traffic passing a disabled vehicle. It's dangerous regardless of who ever is in that environment.

      As for your remark regarding someone like bookman helping an 85 year old person broken down along the interstate, you sir/madam don't know me. You base your assumption on the flawed political stereotype that those with a conservative bent are self serving, above it all types of people who would never stoop so low as to help someone in need. You couldn't be farther from accurate.

      I happen to travel throughout the region, primarily in WV, as part of my business and have had the Opportunity over these twenty years to help countless people resolve their circumstances along a highway. It is a very rewarding experience to help someone in need, and I highly recommend it. Whether it's two Russian guys out of gas who followed a GPS to nowhere, or a Mexican family stuck in the Snow on Allegheny Mountain on Christmas night, (whose children are now classmates of my children), or the dad from Baltimore lost trying to find AB College in Philippi, I could go on and on. Be careful who you disparage, as you really don't know me. You just think you do!

      • Hop'sHip

        Bookie: Even if that broken-down car carries an Obama for President bumper sticker?

        • WhgFeeling

          Nice retort Bookman.

          Hop's seriously you have to throw politics in? A good samaritan is just that. Doesn't matter whom they are helping. They help anyone in need.

        • The bookman

          Of course, as that's a double down opportunity to not only warm a heart but change a mind. Kidding.

          The last Obama sticker I pushed against was a Volvo at the edge of Canaan Valley. The funny thing is that he was a Good Deed Doer as well, as he had a twenty something from Fairfax, VA who had ditched his car in Dryfork.

          WV is full of people who extend a helping hand. A seasonal neighbor from Arizona, a proudly liberal former professor from UC Berkeley, once told me he had experienced three flat tires in his 70 years, all in WV, thankfully. He had yet to change one of them as there was always someone on the scene to do it before he could remember where he stored the jack. You would have liked him, much. His seasonal vehicle still has Kerry/Edwards on it. And yes, I was one of the three who changed a tire for him.

          • Hop'sHip

            We'll if I did have an Obama sticker (and I don't) and I had the misfortune to have car problems, I would hope that I would have the good fortune to have you be the one to stop. Somehow I think it would be more likely to be someone with another different mentality prevalent on this site, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!!!!!!!!!

  • TheFactIs

    Those against this program or feel it is a waste of money has never needed the service. Unfortunately, the areas they patrol are not completely covered by cell service and not everyone's vehicle is equipped with On-Star, etc. to call for help.

  • griff

    I had a flat tire on rt 19 driving a F250. front driver tire. I was removing the lug nuts when the courtesy patrol stopped. ALL he did was walk up to me, I continued to loosen the lugs. He said, "Most women don't do that". I looked up, & told him "most men don't stand there & watch a woman do it". Removed the tire, put it in another vehicle. He said "want me to wait till u get back? I said nope that I didn't need him to watch me put it back on He was as useless as boobs on a boar hog. And, he had the belly to match. Never figured out how he got all that gut behind the wheel. That was in Jan several years ago & I even was sick with upper respiratory infection. I hope is not funded. it is a waste of money

  • Wowbagger

    Take it out of the dog and horse racing subsidies.

    Problem solved!

  • Woodchuck

    Sorry but they needed the for their trp to North Dakota. Term limits will stop this greed.

  • Lbj

    Did anyone ever think about legalizing marijuana . Imagine the extra funds our great state would have for different projects.

    • WhgFeeling

      I believe this was a bill introduced but of course made it nowhere. I personally have never used marijuana but the tax benefits to me would be so substantial that I would vote for it.

  • whatamoroon

    If we have to get rid of this program, let's just hope the first person to break down in the middle of the night after its defunded is a teacher or a legislator. They are the ones who constantly cry about THEIR money while wasting OURS.

  • The Answer

    Hey thorton don't know you but hope you live to be an very old person.
    One day when lets say your 85,you are driving north on I-79 you have a flat and guess what your in a dead spot for your cell phone and there are several.
    Oh by the way your exactly half way between Big Otter and Servia happy hiking.

    • The bookman

      Well I hope I'm on my way home from the Kanawha Valley and see a fellow motorist in need so that I can stop and help Thornton, even though we may disagree on the finer points of athletics and it's social impact in the lunch room.

      That's how it's done when you can't find help in an isolated circumstance. Luckily, we live in WV where people help their fellow man. Self reliance is a wonderful thing.

      • BH

        Sure you would.

        • The bookman

          Your comment states more about you than it does about me!

      • Cindy

        I am WV born & bred but there is absolutely no way I'm getting assistance from some stranger. With all the sickos out there....

      • thornton

        85 will be in 23 that time, cell service may be improved....the pothole situation, may not be.

        However, when The bookman gives me a needed lift on I-79 those many years hence, I fully expect that we will find more on which to agree than disagree....that is normally the way when a keyboard does not separate folks.

        I wonder what folks do when on Middle Mountain Road and they sadly have a they sit and wring their hands? Do they moan pitifully and look for a cat to kick? Do they curl up in a pile of leaves and wonder what Hoppy would do? Do they believe that government should have checked that spare tire or filled their fuel tank or reminded them of the value of routine vehicle maintenance?

        The interstate courtesy service is just that...a courtesy, a nicety...certainly, a welcome hand at times..... but one that carries a cost. In tough times, costs need managed with more in mind than Horace from Miami running short of petrol.

        • WhgFeeling

          Thorton and Bookman.....I must say your comments made this gloomy Saturday morning quite a bit brighter for me. Thanks. Maybe someday I will see Bookman helping Mr. Thornton alongside the road. I too would stop and help a fellow out. It surely would not be the first time.