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HF 2126

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/22/2021 03:57pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to public safety; authorizing release of crash reports to prosecuting
attorneys; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 169.09, subdivision 13.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 169.09, subdivision 13, is amended to read:


Subd. 13.

Reports confidential; evidence, fee, penalty, appropriation.

(a) All reports
and supplemental information required under this section must be for the use of the
commissioner of public safety and other appropriate state, federal, county, and municipal
governmental agencies for accident analysis purposes, except:

(1) upon written request, the commissioner of public safety or any law enforcement
agency shall disclose the report required under subdivision 8 to:

(i) any individual involved in the accident, the representative of the individual's estate,
or the surviving spouse, or one or more surviving next of kin, or a trustee appointed under
section 573.02;

(ii) any other person injured in person, property, or means of support, or who incurs
other pecuniary loss by virtue of the accident;

(iii) legal counsel of a person described in item (i) or (ii); deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(iv) a representative of the insurer of any person described in item (i) or (ii);new text begin or
new text end

new text begin (v) a city or county attorney or an attorney representing the state in an implied consent
action who is charged with the prosecution of a traffic or criminal offense that is the result
of a traffic crash investigation conducted by law enforcement;
new text end

(2) the commissioner of public safety shall, upon written request, provide the driver
filing a report under subdivision 7 with a copy of the report filed by the driver;

(3) the commissioner of public safety may verify with insurance companies vehicle
insurance information to enforce sections 65B.48, 169.792, 169.793, 169.796, and 169.797;

(4) the commissioner of public safety shall provide the commissioner of transportation
the information obtained for each traffic accident involving a commercial motor vehicle,
for purposes of administering commercial vehicle safety regulations;

(5) upon specific request, the commissioner of public safety shall provide the
commissioner of transportation the information obtained regarding each traffic accident
involving damage to identified state-owned infrastructure, for purposes of debt collection
under section 161.20, subdivision 4; and

(6) the commissioner of public safety may give to the United States Department of
Transportation commercial vehicle accident information in connection with federal grant
programs relating to safety.

(b) Accident reports and data contained in the reports are not discoverable under any
provision of law or rule of court. No report shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or
criminal, or any action for damages or criminal proceedings arising out of an accident.
However, the commissioner of public safety shall furnish, upon the demand of any person
who has or claims to have made a report or upon demand of any court, a certificate showing
that a specified accident report has or has not been made to the commissioner solely to prove
compliance or failure to comply with the requirements that the report be made to the
commissioner.

(c) Nothing in this subdivision prevents any individual who has made a report under
this section from providing information to any individuals involved in an accident or their
representatives or from testifying in any trial, civil or criminal, arising out of an accident,
as to facts within the individual's knowledge. It is intended by this subdivision to render
privileged the reports required, but it is not intended to prohibit proof of the facts to which
the reports relate.

(d) Disclosing any information contained in any accident report, except as provided in
this subdivision, section 13.82, subdivision 3 or 6, or other statutes, is a misdemeanor.

(e) The commissioner of public safety shall charge authorized persons as described in
paragraph (a) a $5 fee for a copy of an accident report. Ninety percent of the $5 fee collected
under this paragraph must be deposited in the special revenue fund and credited to the driver
services operating account established in section 299A.705 and ten percent must be deposited
in the general fund. The commissioner may also furnish an electronic copy of the database
of accident records, which must not contain personal or private data on an individual, to
private agencies as provided in paragraph (g), for not less than the cost of preparing the
copies on a bulk basis as provided in section 13.03, subdivision 3.

(f) The fees specified in paragraph (e) notwithstanding, the commissioner and law
enforcement agencies shall charge commercial users who request access to response or
incident data relating to accidents a fee not to exceed 50 cents per record. "Commercial
user" is a user who in one location requests access to data in more than five accident reports
per month, unless the user establishes that access is not for a commercial purpose. Of the
money collected by the commissioner under this paragraph, 90 percent must be deposited
in the special revenue fund and credited to the driver services operating account established
in section 299A.705 and ten percent must be deposited in the general fund.

(g) The fees in paragraphs (e) and (f) notwithstanding, the commissioner shall provide
an electronic copy of the accident records database to the public on a case-by-case basis
using the cost-recovery charges provided for under section 13.03, subdivision 3. The database
provided must not contain personal or private data on an individual. However, unless the
accident records database includes the vehicle identification number, the commissioner
shall include the vehicle registration plate number if a private agency certifies and agrees
that the agency:

(1) is in the business of collecting accident and damage information on vehicles;

(2) will use the vehicle registration plate number only for identifying vehicles that have
been involved in accidents or damaged, to provide this information to persons seeking access
to a vehicle's history and not for identifying individuals or for any other purpose; and

(3) will be subject to the penalties and remedies under sections 13.08 and 13.09.