1-1     By:  Goodman, et al. (Senate Sponsor - Ratliff)        H.B. No. 399

 1-2           (In the Senate - Received from the House May 14, 1997;

 1-3     May 15, 1997, read first time and referred to Committee on State

 1-4     Affairs; May 18, 1997, reported favorably by the following vote:

 1-5     Yeas 12, Nays 0; May 18, 1997, sent to printer.)

 1-6                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-7                                   AN ACT

 1-8     relating to the availability of governmental information about

 1-9     motor vehicle accidents.


1-11           SECTION 1.  Subchapter D, Chapter 550, Transportation Code,

1-12     is amended by adding Section 550.0651 to read as follows:


1-14     ACCIDENTS.  (a)  This section applies to information that is held

1-15     by the department or another governmental entity and that relates

1-16     to a motor vehicle accident, including:

1-17                 (1)  information reported under this chapter, Section

1-18     601.004, or Chapter 772, Health and Safety Code;

1-19                 (2)  information contained in a dispatch log, towing

1-20     record, or a record of a 9-1-1 service provider; and

1-21                 (3)  the part of any other record that includes

1-22     information about the date of the accident, the name of any person

1-23     involved in the accident, or the specific location of the accident.

1-24           (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), the information is

1-25     privileged and for the confidential use of:

1-26                 (1)  the department; and

1-27                 (2)  an agency of the United States, this state, or a

1-28     local government of this state that has use for the information for

1-29     accident prevention purposes.

1-30           (c)  On written request and payment of any required fee, the

1-31     department or other governmental entity shall release the

1-32     information to:

1-33                 (1)  an entity described by Subsection (b)(1) or (2);

1-34                 (2)  the law enforcement agency that employs the peace

1-35     officer who investigated the accident and sent the report to the

1-36     department;

1-37                 (3)  the court in which a case involving a person

1-38     involved in the accident is pending, if the information is

1-39     subpoenaed; or

1-40                 (4)  a person who provides the department or

1-41     governmental entity with the name of any person involved in the

1-42     accident and with one or both of the following:

1-43                       (A)  the date of the accident; or

1-44                       (B)  the specific address or the highway or

1-45     street where the accident occurred.

1-46           (d)  The department or other governmental entity shall

1-47     request information on a written form adopted by the department or

1-48     governmental entity to determine whether the person or entity

1-49     requesting the information is entitled to receive the information

1-50     under Subsection (c).

1-51           (e)  If the requesting person or entity is entitled to the

1-52     information under Subsection (c), Subchapter F, Chapter 552,

1-53     Government Code, applies to:

1-54                 (1)  making available the information, if it exists in

1-55     a paper record;

1-56                 (2)  providing access to the information if it exists

1-57     in an electronic medium or an electronic form; and

1-58                 (3)  obtaining a copy of the information.

1-59           SECTION 2.  The importance of this legislation and the

1-60     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

1-61     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

1-62     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

1-63     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,

1-64     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its

 2-1     passage, and it is so enacted.

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