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.