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Texas Senate Approves Limits on Accident Report Details

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Erin King2 years ago

The Texas Senate has recently voted to prohibit law enforcement officials from releasing the names of individuals involved in traffic accidents to lawyers attempting to solicit cases.

Details of the Accident Report Bill

According to the Washington Times, a bill that would require Police to issue redacted accident reports without the names and personal information of those not involved in the accident has been in the works in the Texas Senate.

The bill would protect accident victims from being harassed by lawyers seeking to file lawsuits and would aim to protect the families of fatal accident victims from hearing their loved one’s name in the media. 

The piece of legislation would result in a drastic rollback of state public records law, which has fueled opposition from public record advocates. Sen. Charles Perry, a Lubbock Republican, says the media, however, would still get access to criminal reports.

The bill is still pending approval in the Texas House of Representatives.

Current Regulations in Texas

Under current legislation, accident reports can be accessed by anyone who is able to present two of the following three criteria:

  1. Location of the accident
  2. Date of the accident
  3. Name of an individual involved of the accident

However, two of the three items, date and location, can be obtained by requesting dispatch records from area police departments, which are considered public records.

Further, once dispatch records are obtained, the information can be turned into precincts to request accident reports in bulk or entered into online record archives to obtain PDFs of said records.


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