Posted on Nov 3, 2010 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 10-04
November 3, 2010
Traffic Accident Data

The Department of Transportation (DOT) asked OIP whether it is required to disclose accident data for a certain location in response to a request made under the UIPA, where the record requester is engaged in a court proceeding against a county involving an accident at that location.

OIP addressed the question of whether DOT may withhold traffic accident data from the requester based upon the discovery and evidentiary privilege established by federal law under § 409 of Title 23 of the United States Code.

OIP found that where the State or a county is or may be a party to a judicial action, government data that pertains to the defense of that action may be withheld from the requester under HRS § 92F-13(2), where it falls within the privilege created under § 409.

Thus, to the extent that data was actually compiled or collected by DOT for purposes of a federal program identified in § 409 to which the privilege would apply, DOT may withhold the traffic accident data from the requester.

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