UNOFFICIAL COPY AS OF 04/14/16 00 REG. SESS. 00 RS HB 736/GA
AN ACT relating to accidents.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
SECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 277 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
(1) In any circumstance involving an accident on a railroad, or any alleged violation of law involving the operation of a train, in which the engineer or any other train crew member is detained by any law enforcement officer investigating the accident or alleged violation of law:
(a) The engineer and other train crew members shall not be required to show the law enforcement officer the person's operator's license issued under KRS Chapter 186; and
(b) The law enforcement officer shall be prohibited from requiring an engineer or other train crew member to show the law enforcement officer the person's operator's license issued under KRS Chapter 186.
Section 2. KRS 189.635 is amended to read as follows:
(1) The Justice Cabinet, Department of State Police, shall be responsible for maintaining a reporting system for all vehicle accidents which occur within the Commonwealth. Such accident reports shall be utilized for such purposes as will improve the traffic safety program in the Commonwealth involving the collection, processing, storing, and dissemination of such data and the establishment of procedures by administrative regulations to insure that uniform definitions, classifications, and other federal requirements are in compliance.
(2) Any person operating a vehicle on the highways of this state who is involved in an accident resulting in fatal or nonfatal personal injury to any person or damage to the vehicle rendering the vehicle inoperable shall be required to immediately notify a law enforcement officer having jurisdiction. In the event the operator fails to notify or is incapable of notifying a law enforcement officer having jurisdiction, such responsibility shall rest with the owner of the vehicle or any occupant of the vehicle at the time of the accident. A law enforcement officer having jurisdiction shall investigate the accident and file a written report of the accident with his law enforcement agency.
(3) Every law enforcement agency whose officers investigate a vehicle accident of which a report must be made as required in this chapter shall file a report of the accident with the Department of State Police within ten (10) days after investigation of the accident upon forms supplied by the department.
(4) Any person operating a vehicle on the highways of this state who is involved in an accident resulting in any property damage exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) in which an investigation is not conducted by a law enforcement officer shall file a written report of the accident with the Department of State Police within ten (10) days of occurrence of the accident upon forms provided by the department.
(5) All accident reports filed with the Department of State Police in compliance with subsection (4) above shall remain confidential except that the department may disclose the identity of a person involved in an accident when his identity is not otherwise known or when he denies his presence at an accident. Except as provided in subsection (7) of this section, all other accident reports required by this section, and the information contained in the reports, shall be confidential and exempt from public disclosure except when produced pursuant to a properly executed subpoena or court order, or except pursuant to subsection (6) of this section. These reports shall be made available only to the parties to the accident, the parents or guardians of a minor who is party to the accident, and the insurers of any party who is the subject of the report, or to the attorneys of the parties.
(6) The report shall be made available to a news-gathering organization, solely for the purpose of publishing or broadcasting the news. The news-gathering organization shall not use or distribute the report, or knowingly allow its use or distribution, for a commercial purpose other than the news-gathering organization's publication or broadcasting of the information in the report. A newspaper, periodical, or radio or television station shall not be held to have used or knowingly allowed the use of the report for a commercial purpose merely because of its publication or broadcast.
(7) The motor vehicle insurers of any train engineer or other train crew member involved in an accident on a railroad while functioning in their professional capacity shall be prohibited from obtaining a copy of any accident report filed on the accident under this section without written consent from the individual the company insures. Insurance companies issuing motor vehicle policies in the Commonwealth shall be prohibited from raising a policyholder's rates solely because the policyholder, in his or her professional capacity, is a train engineer or other train crew member involved in an accident on a railroad.