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Let's ban police from disclosing crash victims' accident reports

Another step in my “5-Point Plan to Protect Auto Accident Victims from Ambulance Chasing Lawyers”

police at car accident scene accident report

The Michigan State Police and all law enforcement (that reports on Michigan motor vehicle accidents) should be banned from disclosing auto accident victims’ personal information contained in motor vehicle accident reports.

This would be an important step in halting the unethical injury lawyers who send mail solicitation packages to crash victims after looking up their personal information and accident police reports. And it’s part of my blog series on my “5-Point Plan to Protect Auto Accident Victims from Ambulance Chasing Lawyers.”

Banning police from disclosing crash reports could be accomplished by the Michigan Legislature enacting an “Auto Accident Victims’ Privacy Protection Act” akin to the Michigan “Driver Privacy Protection Act” (DPPA).

Under Michigan’s DPPA, the Secretary of State and other state agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resources, are prohibited from disclosing drivers’ personal information (e.g., drivers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers and driver identification numbers) for marketing and/or solicitation purposes. (See MCL 28.291a(b))

Specifically, the Michigan DPPA provides:

“The secretary of state or any other state agency shall not sell or furnish any list of [of drivers’ personal] information … for the purpose of … marketing, and solicitations.” (MCL 28.300(3); 257.232(3); 324.80130c(3); 324.80315c(3); 324.81114c(3); 324.82156c(3))

Borrowing from the DPPA’s wording, an “Auto Accident Victims’ Privacy Protection Act” might read as follows:

“The Michigan State Police and all law enforcement reporting on Michigan motor vehicle accidents shall not disclose, sell or furnish the personal information of auto accident victims contained in motor vehicle accident reports, including but not limited to UD-10s, for the purpose of marketing and solicitations.”

On Saturday, we will continue on with our blog series with a discussion on why auto accident victims’ personal information should be covered by the Michigan FOIA Privacy Exemption.

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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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