By Goodman                                       H.B. No. 399

      75R1172 JRD-D                           

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to the availability of governmental information about

 1-3     motor vehicle accidents.


 1-5           SECTION 1.  Subchapter D, Chapter 550, Transportation Code,

 1-6     is amended by adding Section 550.0651 to read as follows:


 1-8     ACCIDENTS.  (a)  This section applies only to information that is

 1-9     held by the department or another governmental entity, and relates

1-10     to a motor vehicle accident reported under this chapter or Section

1-11     601.004.  That information includes information about the date of

1-12     the accident, the name of any person involved in the accident, or

1-13     the specific location of the accident.

1-14           (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), the information is

1-15     privileged and for the confidential use of:

1-16                 (1)  the department; and

1-17                 (2)  an agency of the United States, this state, or a

1-18     local government of this state that has use for the information for

1-19     accident prevention purposes.

1-20           (c)  On written request and payment of any required fee, the

1-21     department or other governmental entity shall release the

1-22     information to:

1-23                 (1)  an entity described by Subsection (b)(1) or (2);

1-24                 (2)  the law enforcement agency that employs the peace

 2-1     officer who investigated the accident and sent the report to the

 2-2     department;

 2-3                 (3)  the court in which a case involving a person

 2-4     involved in the accident is pending, if the information is

 2-5     subpoenaed; or

 2-6                 (4)  a person who provides the department or

 2-7     governmental entity with two or more of the following:

 2-8                       (A)  the date of the accident;

 2-9                       (B)  the name of any person involved in the

2-10     accident; or

2-11                       (C)  the specific location of the accident.

2-12           (d)  The department or other governmental entity shall

2-13     request information on a written form adopted by the department or

2-14     governmental entity to determine whether the person or entity

2-15     requesting the information is entitled to receive the information

2-16     under Subsection (c).

2-17           (e)  If the requesting person or entity is entitled to the

2-18     information under Subsection (c), Subchapter F, Chapter 552,

2-19     Government Code, applies to:

2-20                 (1)  making available the information, if it exists in

2-21     a paper record;

2-22                 (2)  providing access to the information if it exists

2-23     in an electronic medium or an electronic form; and

2-24                 (3)  obtaining a copy of the information.

2-25           SECTION 2.  The importance of this legislation and the

2-26     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

2-27     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

 3-1     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

 3-2     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,

 3-3     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its

 3-4     passage, and it is so enacted.