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Second Substitute S.B. 114

Representative Patrick Painter proposes the following substitute bill:


             1     
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT REPORTS

             2     
2010 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Dennis E. Stowell

             5     
House Sponsor: Rebecca D. Lockhart

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Traffic Code by amending provisions relating to motor vehicle
             10      accident reports.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    requires an investigating peace officer to record on an accident report whether an
             14      accident occurred on a livestock highway if the accident resulted in the injury or
             15      death of livestock;
             16          .    requires a peace officer investigating an accident resulting in injury or death of any
             17      livestock to make arrangements with the owner of the livestock to:
             18              .    deliver, mail, email, fax, or otherwise provide the owner of the livestock a copy
             19      of the accident report; or
             20              .    advise the owner of the livestock where a copy of the accident report may be
             21      obtained; and
             22          .    makes technical changes.
             23      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             24          None
             25      Other Special Clauses:


             26          None
             27      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             28      AMENDS:
             29          41-6a-404, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 183
             30          41-6a-408, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2005, Chapter 2
             31     
             32      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             33          Section 1. Section 41-6a-404 is amended to read:
             34           41-6a-404. Accident reports -- When confidential -- Insurance policy information
             35      -- Use as evidence -- Penalty for false information.
             36          (1) As used in this section:
             37          (a) "Agent" means:
             38          (i) a person's attorney;
             39          (ii) a person's insurer;
             40          (iii) a general acute hospital, as defined in Section 26-21-2 , that:
             41          (A) has an emergency room; and
             42          (B) is providing or has provided emergency services to the person in relation to the
             43      accident; or
             44          (iv) any other individual or entity with signed permission from the person to receive
             45      the person's accident report.
             46          (b) "Accompanying data" means all materials gathered by the investigating peace
             47      officer in an accident investigation including:
             48          (i) the identity of witnesses and, if known, contact information;
             49          (ii) witness statements;
             50          (iii) photographs and videotapes;
             51          (iv) diagrams; and
             52          (v) field notes.
             53          (2) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (3), all accident reports required in this part to
             54      be filed with the department:
             55          [(a)] (i) are without prejudice to the reporting individual;
             56          [(b)] (ii) are protected and for the confidential use of the department or other state,


             57      local, or federal agencies having use for the records for official governmental statistical,
             58      investigative, and accident prevention purposes; and
             59          [(c)] (iii) may be disclosed only in a statistical form that protects the privacy of any
             60      person involved in the accident.
             61          (b) An investigating peace officer shall include in an accident report an indication as to
             62      whether the accident occurred on a highway designated as a livestock highway in accordance
             63      with Section 72-3-112 if the accident resulted in the injury or death of livestock.
             64          (3) (a) Subject to the provisions of this section, the department or the responsible law
             65      enforcement agency employing the peace officer that investigated the accident shall disclose an
             66      accident report to:
             67          (i) a person involved in the accident, excluding a witness to the accident;
             68          (ii) a person suffering loss or injury in the accident;
             69          (iii) an agent, parent, or legal guardian of a person described in Subsections (3)(a)(i)
             70      and (ii);
             71          (iv) subject to Subsection (3)(d), a member of the press or broadcast news media;
             72          (v) a state, local, or federal agency that uses the records for official governmental,
             73      investigative, or accident prevention purposes;
             74          (vi) law enforcement personnel when acting in their official governmental capacity;
             75      and
             76          (vii) a licensed private investigator.
             77          (b) The responsible law enforcement agency employing the peace officer that
             78      investigated the accident:
             79          (i) shall in compliance with Subsection (3)(a):
             80          (A) disclose an accident report; or
             81          (B) upon written request disclose an accident report and its accompanying data within
             82      10 business days from receipt of a written request for disclosure; or
             83          (ii) may withhold an accident report, and any of its accompanying data if disclosure
             84      would jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation or criminal prosecution.
             85          (c) In accordance with Subsection (3)(a), the department or the responsible law
             86      enforcement agency employing the investigating peace officer shall disclose whether any
             87      person or vehicle involved in an accident reported under this section was covered by a vehicle


             88      insurance policy, and the name of the insurer.
             89          (d) Information provided to a member of the press or broadcast news media under
             90      Subsection (3)(a)(iv) may only include:
             91          (i) the name, age, sex, and city of residence of each person involved in the accident;
             92          (ii) the make and model year of each vehicle involved in the accident;
             93          (iii) whether or not each person involved in the accident was covered by a vehicle
             94      insurance policy;
             95          (iv) the location of the accident; and
             96          (v) a description of the accident that excludes personal identifying information not
             97      listed in Subsection (3)(d)(i).
             98          (e) The department shall disclose to any requesting person the following vehicle
             99      accident history information, excluding personal identifying information, in bulk electronic
             100      form:
             101          (i) any vehicle identifying information that is electronically available, including the
             102      make, model year, and vehicle identification number of each vehicle involved in an accident;
             103          (ii) the date of the accident; and
             104          (iii) any electronically available data which describes the accident, including a
             105      description of any physical damage to the vehicle.
             106          (f) The department may establish a fee under Section 63J-1-504 based on the fair
             107      market value of the information for providing bulk vehicle accident history information under
             108      Subsection (3)(e).
             109          (4) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (4)(b), accident reports filed under this section
             110      may not be used as evidence in any civil or criminal trial arising out of an accident.
             111          (b) (i) Upon demand of any party to the trial or upon demand of any court, the
             112      department shall furnish a certificate showing that a specified accident report has or has not
             113      been made to the department in compliance with law.
             114          (ii) If the report has been made, the certificate furnished by the department shall show:
             115          (A) the date, time, and location of the accident;
             116          (B) the names and addresses of the drivers;
             117          (C) the owners of the vehicles involved; and
             118          (D) the investigating peace officers.


             119          (iii) The reports may be used as evidence when necessary to prosecute charges filed in
             120      connection with a violation of Subsection (5).
             121          (5) A person who gives information in reports as required in this part knowing or
             122      having reason to believe that the information is false is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
             123          (6) The department and the responsible law enforcement agency employing the
             124      investigating peace officer may charge a reasonable fee determined by the department under
             125      Section 63J-1-504 for the cost incurred in disclosing an accident report or an accident report
             126      and any of its accompanying data under Subsections (3)(a) and (b).
             127          Section 2. Section 41-6a-408 is amended to read:
             128           41-6a-408. Peace officer investigating accident to notify owner if livestock or
             129      broken fence involved -- Exempt from liability.
             130          (1) A peace officer investigating an accident resulting in injury or death of any
             131      livestock shall make reasonable efforts as soon as possible to:
             132          (a) locate the owner of the livestock [and];
             133          (b) inform the owner of the injured or dead animal[.]; and
             134          (c) (i) make arrangements with the owner of the livestock to deliver, mail, email, fax,
             135      or otherwise provide the owner of the livestock a copy of the accident report prepared in
             136      accordance with Section 41-6a-404 ; or
             137          (ii) advise the owner of the livestock where a copy of the accident report prepared in
             138      accordance with Section 41-6a-404 may be obtained.
             139          (2) A peace officer investigating an accident resulting in a broken fence, if it appears
             140      the fence contains or controls the movement of livestock, shall make reasonable efforts as soon
             141      as possible to locate the owner of the property and inform the owner of the broken fence.
             142          (3) (a) Civil or criminal liability for claims does not arise against any peace officer for
             143      failure to locate the owner of the livestock or property.
             144          (b) Subsection (3)(a) does not preclude disciplinary action by the law enforcement
             145      agency against a peace officer for failure to perform duties required by this section.


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