2017 Kentucky Revised Statutes
CHAPTER 189 - TRAFFIC REGULATIONS -- VEHICLE EQUIPMENT AND STORAGE
.635 Vehicle accident reports by operators, law enforcement officers, and agencies -- Availability to parties to accident and news-gathering organizations -- Contracts with outside entities to provide vehicle's accident history and electronic access to reports -- Administrative regulations -- Availability of reports -- Insurers of train engineers.
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189.635 Vehicle accident reports by operators, law enforcement officers, and
agencies -- Availability to parties to accident and news-gathering
organizations -- Contracts with outside entities to provide vehicle's
accident history and electronic access to reports -- Administrative
regulations -- Availability of reports -- Insurers of train engineers.
The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, Department of Kentucky 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 ensure that uniform definitions, classifications, and other federal
requirements are in compliance.
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 or her law enforcement agency.
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 Kentucky State Police within ten (10) days
after investigation of the accident upon forms supplied by the department.
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 Kentucky State
Police within ten (10) days of occurrence of the accident upon forms provided
by the department.
All accident reports filed with the Department of Kentucky State Police in
compliance with subsection (4) above shall not be considered open records
under KRS 61.872 to 61.884 and shall remain confidential, except that the
department may disclose the identity of a person involved in an accident when
his or her identity is not otherwise known or when he or she denies his or her
presence at an accident. Except as provided in subsection (9) 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 (8) 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 insurers or their written
designee for insurance business purposes of any party who is the subject of
the report, or to the attorneys of the parties.
Except as provided for in this subsection, the department shall not release
accident reports for a commercial purpose. The department may, as a matter of
public safety, contract with an outside entity and release vehicle damage data
extracted from accident reports to such an entity if the data is used solely for
the purpose of providing the public a means of determining a vehicle's accident
history. The department may further contract with a third party to provide
electronic access to reports for persons and entities who are entitled to such
reports under subsections (5) and (9) of this section.
The department shall promulgate administrative regulations in accordance with
KRS Chapter 13A to set out a fee schedule for accident reports made available
pursuant to subsections (5), (8), and (9) of this section. These fees shall be in
addition to those charged to the public for records produced under KRS
(a) 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.
(b) A newspaper or periodical shall be considered a news-gathering
organization if it:
Is published at least fifty (50) of fifty-two (52) weeks during a
Contains at least twenty-five percent (25%) news content in each
issue or no more than seventy-five percent (75%) advertising
content in any issue in the calendar year; and
Contains news of general interest to its readers that can include
news stories, editorials, sports, weddings, births, and death notices.
(c) 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.
(d) For the purposes of this section, the meaning of "news-gathering
organization" does not include any product or publication:
Which is intended primarily for members of a particular profession or
occupational group; or
With the primary purpose of distributing advertising or of publishing
names and other personal identifying information concerning parties
to motor vehicle accidents which may be used to solicit for services
covered under Subtitle 39 of KRS Chapter 304.
(e) A request under this section shall be completed using a form promulgated
by the department through administrative regulations in accordance with
KRS Chapter 13A. The form under this paragraph shall include:
The name and address of the requestor and the news-gathering
organization the requestor represents;
A statement that the requestor is a news-gathering organization
under this subsection;
A statement that the request is in compliance with the criteria
contained in this section; and
A declaration of the requestor as to the accuracy and truthfulness of
the information provided in the request.
(9) The report shall be made available without subpoena to any party to litigation
who files with the department a request for the report and includes a copy of
the first page of a District or Circuit Court clerk-stamped complaint naming all
(10) The report shall be made available without subpoena to the Department of
Workplace Standards in the Labor Cabinet if the accident report is pertinent to
an occupational safety and health investigation.
(11) 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.
(12) For reporting and statistical purposes, an autocycle as defined in KRS 186.010
shall be listed as its own distinct category and shall not be considered to be a
motor vehicle or a motorcycle for reports issued under this section.
Effective:June 29, 2017
History: Amended 2017 Ky. Acts ch. 69, sec. 5, effective June 29, 2017; ch. 134,
sec. 1, effective June 29, 2017; and ch. 143, sec. 1, effective June 29, 2017. -Amended 2008 Ky. Acts ch. 160, sec. 1, effective July 15, 2008. -- Amended
2007 Ky. Acts ch. 85, sec. 211, effective June 26, 2007. -- Amended 2000 Ky.
Acts ch. 497, sec. 2, effective July 14, 2000. -- Amended 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 478,
sec. 1, effective July 15, 1994. -- Amended 1990 Ky. Acts ch. 94, sec. 1,
effective July 13, 1990. -- Amended 1976 Ky. Acts ch. 194, sec. 1, effective
January 1, 1977. -- Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 335, sec. 1.
Legislative Research Commission Note (6/29/2017). This statute was amended
by 2017 Ky. Acts chs. 69, 134, and 143, which do not appear to be in conflict
and have been codified together.
Legislative Research Commission Note (7/15/2008). The numbering of the
subsections in this section has been altered by the Reviser of Statutes from the
numbering in 2008 Ky. Acts ch. 160, sec. 1, under the authority of KRS 7.136.
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