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TRANSPORTATION CODE


TITLE 7. VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC


SUBTITLE C. RULES OF THE ROAD


CHAPTER 550. COLLISIONS AND COLLISION REPORTS


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec. 550.001. APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER. This chapter applies only to:

(1) a road owned and controlled by a water control and improvement district;

(2) a private access way or parking area provided for a client or patron by a business, other than a private residential property, or the property of a garage or parking lot for which a charge is made for storing or parking a motor vehicle; and

(3) a highway or other public place.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER B. DUTIES FOLLOWING COLLISION


Sec. 550.021. COLLISION INVOLVING PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH. (a) The operator of a vehicle involved in a collision that results or is reasonably likely to result in injury to or death of a person shall:

(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the collision or as close to the scene as possible;

(2) immediately return to the scene of the collision if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the collision;

(3) immediately determine whether a person is involved in the collision, and if a person is involved in the collision, whether that person requires aid; and

(4) remain at the scene of the collision until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.

(b) An operator of a vehicle required to stop the vehicle by Subsection (a) shall do so without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of this section. An offense under this section:

(1) involving a collision resulting in:

(A) death of a person is a felony of the second degree; or

(B) serious bodily injury, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, to a person is a felony of the third degree; and

(2) involving a collision resulting in injury to which Subdivision (1) does not apply is punishable by:

(A) imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for not more than five years or confinement in the county jail for not more than one year;

(B) a fine not to exceed $5,000; or

(C) both the fine and the imprisonment or confinement.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (H.B. 1840), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 70 (S.B. 275), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1099 (H.B. 3668), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 45, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.022. COLLISION INVOLVING DAMAGE TO VEHICLE. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the operator of a vehicle involved in a collision resulting only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall:

(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the collision or as close as possible to the scene of the collision without obstructing traffic more than is necessary;

(2) immediately return to the scene of the collision if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the collision; and

(3) remain at the scene of the collision until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.

(b) If a collision occurs on a main lane, ramp, shoulder, median, or adjacent area of a freeway in a metropolitan area and each vehicle involved can be normally and safely driven, each operator shall move the operator's vehicle as soon as possible to a designated collision investigation site, if available, a location on the frontage road, the nearest suitable cross street, or other suitable location to complete the requirements of Section 550.023 and minimize interference with freeway traffic.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of Subsection (a). An offense under this subsection is:

(1) a Class C misdemeanor, if the damage to all vehicles is less than $200; or

(2) a Class B misdemeanor, if the damage to all vehicles is $200 or more.

(c-1) A person commits an offense if the person does not comply with the requirements of Subsection (b). An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

(d) In this section, a vehicle can be normally and safely driven only if the vehicle:

(1) does not require towing; and

(2) can be operated under its own power and in its usual manner, without additional damage or hazard to the vehicle, other traffic, or the roadway.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1066 (H.B. 1484), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 46, eff. September 1, 2023.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 47, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.023. DUTY TO GIVE INFORMATION AND RENDER AID. The operator of a vehicle involved in a collision resulting in the injury or death of a person or damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall:

(1) give the operator's name and address, the registration number of the vehicle the operator was driving, and the name of the operator's motor vehicle liability insurer to any person injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a vehicle involved in the collision;

(2) if requested and available, show the operator's driver's license to a person described by Subdivision (1); and

(3) provide any person injured in the collision reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangements for transporting the person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 48, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.024. DUTY ON STRIKING UNATTENDED VEHICLE. (a) The operator of a vehicle that collides with and damages an unattended vehicle shall immediately stop and:

(1) locate the operator or owner of the unattended vehicle and give that person the name and address of the operator and the owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle; or

(2) leave in a conspicuous place in, or securely attach in a plainly visible way to, the unattended vehicle a written notice giving the name and address of the operator and the owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle and a statement of the circumstances of the collision.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person violates Subsection (a). An offense under this section is:

(1) a Class C misdemeanor, if the damage to all vehicles involved is less than $200; or

(2) a Class B misdemeanor, if the damage to all vehicles involved is $200 or more.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 550.025. DUTY ON STRIKING STRUCTURE, FIXTURE, OR HIGHWAY LANDSCAPING.

(a) The operator of a vehicle involved in a collision resulting only in damage to a structure adjacent to a highway or a fixture or landscaping legally on or adjacent to a highway shall:

(1) take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property of the collision and of the operator's name and address and the registration number of the vehicle the operator was driving; and

(2) if requested and available, show the operator's driver's license to the owner or person in charge of the property.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person violates Subsection (a). An offense under this section is:

(1) a Class C misdemeanor, if the damage to all fixtures and landscaping is less than $200; or

(2) a Class B misdemeanor, if the damage to all fixtures and landscaping is $200 or more.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 680 (H.B. 42), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 680 (H.B. 42), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 533 (S.B. 312), Sec. 44, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 49, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.026. IMMEDIATE REPORT OF COLLISION. (a) The operator of a vehicle involved in a collision resulting in injury to or death of a person or damage to a vehicle to the extent that it cannot be normally and safely driven shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the collision to the:

(1) local police department if the collision occurred in a municipality;

(2) local police department or the sheriff's office if the collision occurred not more than 100 feet outside the limits of a municipality; or

(3) sheriff's office or the nearest office of the department if the collision is not required to be reported under Subdivision (1) or (2).

(b) If a section of road is within 100 feet of the limits of more than one municipality, the municipalities may agree regarding the maintenance of reports made under Subsection (a)(2). A county may agree with municipalities in the county regarding the maintenance of reports made under Subsection (a)(2). An agreement under this subsection does not affect the duty to report a collision under Subsection (a).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 50, eff. September 1, 2023.

SUBCHAPTER C. INVESTIGATION OF COLLISION


Sec. 550.041. INVESTIGATION BY PEACE OFFICER. (a) A peace officer who is notified of a motor vehicle collision resulting in injury to or death of a person or property damage to an apparent extent of at least $1,000 may investigate the collision and file justifiable charges relating to the collision without regard to whether the collision occurred on property to which this chapter applies.

(b) This section does not apply to:

(1) a privately owned residential parking area; or

(2) a privately owned parking lot where a fee is charged for parking or storing a vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 531, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 52, eff. September 1, 2023.

SUBCHAPTER D. WRITTEN COLLISION REPORT


Sec. 550.0601. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "department" means the Texas Department of Transportation.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 766), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 550.062. OFFICER'S COLLISION REPORT. (a) A law enforcement officer who in the regular course of duty investigates a motor vehicle collision shall make a written report of the collision if the collision resulted in injury to or the death of a person or damage to the property of any one person to the apparent extent of $1,000 or more.

(b) The report required by Subsection (a) must be filed electronically with the department not later than the 10th day after the date of the collision.

(b-1) If the motor vehicle collision involved a combination of vehicles operating under a permit issued under Section 623.402, the report required by Subsection (a) must include the weight and the number of axles of the vehicle combination.

(c) This section applies without regard to whether the officer investigates the collision at the location of the collision and immediately after the collision or afterwards by interviewing those involved in the collision or witnesses to the collision.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 531, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 108 (S.B. 1524), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2018.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 533 (S.B. 312), Sec. 45, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 54, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.063. REPORT ON APPROPRIATE FORM. The form of all written collision reports must be approved by the department and the Department of Public Safety. A person who is required to file a written collision report shall report on the appropriate form and shall disclose all information required by the form unless the information is not available.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 766), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 55, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.064. COLLISION REPORT FORMS. (a) The department shall prepare and when requested supply to police departments, coroners, sheriffs, garages, and other suitable agencies or individuals the collision report forms appropriate for the persons required to make a report and appropriate for the purposes to be served by those reports.

(b) A collision report form prepared by the department must:

(1) require sufficiently detailed information to disclose the cause and conditions of and the persons and vehicles involved in a collision if the form is for the report to be made by a person investigating the collision;

(2) include a way to designate and identify a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical services employee who is involved in a collision while driving a law enforcement vehicle, fire department vehicle, or emergency medical services vehicle while performing the person's duties;

(3) require a statement by a person described by Subdivision (2) as to the nature of the collision;

(4) include a way to designate whether an individual involved in a collision wants to be contacted by a person seeking to obtain employment as a professional described by Section 38.01(12), Penal Code; and

(5) include a way to indicate whether a trailer was involved in the accident and, if so, whether the accident resulted in any fatalities.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 750, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 689 (H.B. 343), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 533 (S.B. 312), Sec. 46, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 56, eff. September 1, 2023.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1001 (H.B. 1199), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.065. RELEASE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION RELATING TO COLLISIONS. (a) This section applies only to the following information that is held by the department or another governmental entity:

(1) a written report of a collision required under:

(A) Section 550.062; or

(B) former Section 550.061 or 601.004 before September 1, 2017; or

(2) collision report information compiled under Section 201.806.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), (c-1), or (e), the information is privileged and for the confidential use of:

(1) the department; and

(2) an agency of the United States, this state, or a local government of this state that has use for the information for collision prevention purposes.

(c) On written request and payment of any required fee, the department or the governmental entity shall release the information to:

(1) an entity described by Subsection (b);

(2) the law enforcement agency that employs the peace officer who investigated the collision and sent the information to the department, including an agent of the law enforcement agency authorized by contract to obtain the information;

(3) the court in which a case involving a person involved in the collision is pending if the report is subpoenaed; or

(4) any person directly concerned in the collision or having a proper interest therein, including:

(A) any person involved in the collision;

(B) the authorized representative of any person involved in the collision;

(C) a driver involved in the collision;

(D) an employer, parent, or legal guardian of a driver involved in the collision;

(E) the owner of a vehicle or property damaged in the collision;

(F) a person who has established financial responsibility for a vehicle involved in the collision in a manner described by Section 601.051, including a policyholder of a motor vehicle liability insurance policy covering the vehicle;

(G) an insurance company that issued an insurance policy covering a vehicle involved in the collision;

(H) an insurance company that issued a policy covering any person involved in the collision;

(I) a person under contract to provide claims or underwriting information to a person described by Paragraph (F), (G), or (H);

(J) a radio or television station that holds a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission;

(K) a newspaper that is:

(i) a free newspaper of general circulation or qualified under Section 2051.044, Government Code, to publish legal notices;

(ii) published at least once a week; and

(iii) available and of interest to the general public in connection with the dissemination of news;

(L) any person who may sue because of death resulting from the collision; or

(M) an employee or authorized representative of a vehicle storage facility, as defined by Section 2303.002, Occupations Code, that stored a vehicle involved in the accident.

(c-1) On receiving information to which this section applies, the department or the governmental entity that receives the information shall create a redacted collision report that may be requested by any person. The redacted collision report may not include the items of information described by Subsection (f)(2). A report released under this subsection is not considered personal information under Section 730.003.

(d) The fee for a copy of the collision report is $6. The copy may be certified by the department or the governmental entity for an additional fee of $2. The department or the governmental entity may issue a certification that no report or information is on file for a fee of $6.

(e) In addition to the information required to be released under Subsection (c), the department may release:

(1) collision report information compiled under Section 201.806; or

(2) a vehicle identification number and specific collision information relating to that vehicle.

(f) The department when releasing information under Subsection (c-1) or (e):

(1) may not release personal information, as defined by Section 730.003; and

(2) shall withhold or redact the following items:

(A) the first, middle, and last name of any person listed in a collision report, including a vehicle driver, occupant, owner, or lessee, a bicyclist, a pedestrian, or a property owner;

(B) the number of any driver's license, commercial driver's license, or personal identification certificate issued to any person listed in a collision report;

(C) the date of birth, other than the year, of any person listed in a collision report;

(D) the address, other than zip code, and telephone number of any person listed in a collision report;

(E) the license plate number of any vehicle listed in a collision report;

(F) the name of any insurance company listed as a provider of financial responsibility for a vehicle listed in a collision report;

(G) the number of any insurance policy issued by an insurance company listed as a provider of financial responsibility;

(H) the date the peace officer who investigated the collision was notified of the collision;

(I) the date the investigating peace officer arrived at the collision site;

(J) the badge number or identification number of the investigating officer;

(K) the date on which any person who died as a result of the collision died;

(L) the date of any commercial motor vehicle report; and

(M) the place where any person injured or killed in a collision was taken and the person or entity that provided the transportation.

(g) The amount that may be charged for information provided under Subsection (e) shall be calculated in the manner specified by Chapter 552, Government Code, for public information provided by a governmental body under that chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.125(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1187, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1032, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 470 (S.B. 375), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 936 (H.B. 2633), Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 533 (S.B. 312), Sec. 47, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 435 (H.B. 1964), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2023.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 57, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.066. ADMISSIBILITY OF CERTAIN COLLISION REPORT INFORMATION. An individual's response to the information requested on a collision report form as provided by Section 550.064(b)(4) is not admissible evidence in a civil trial.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 58, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.067. MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY TO REQUIRE COLLISION REPORTS. (a) A municipality by ordinance may require the operator of a vehicle involved in a collision to file with a designated municipal department:

(1) a report of the collision, if the collision results in injury to or the death of a person or the apparent total property damage is $25 or more; or

(2) a copy of a report required by this chapter to be filed with the department.

(b) A report filed under Subsection (a) is for the confidential use of the municipal department and subject to the provisions of Section 550.065.

(c) A municipality by ordinance may require the person in charge of a garage or repair shop where a motor vehicle is brought if the vehicle shows evidence of having been involved in a collision described by Section 550.062(a) or shows evidence of having been struck by a bullet to report to a department of the municipality within 24 hours after the garage or repair shop receives the motor vehicle, giving the engine number, registration number, and the name and address of the owner or operator of the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 533 (S.B. 312), Sec. 48, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 59, eff. September 1, 2023.

Sec. 550.068. CHANGING COLLISION REPORT. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a change in or a modification of a written report of a motor vehicle collision prepared by a peace officer that alters a material fact in the report may be made only by the peace officer who prepared the report.

(b) A change in or a modification of the written report of the collision may be made by a person other than the peace officer if:

(1) the change is made by a written supplement to the report; and

(2) the written supplement clearly indicates the name of the person who originated the change.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 214, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 533 (S.B. 312), Sec. 49, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 60, eff. September 1, 2023.

SUBCHAPTER E. OTHER REPORTS


Sec. 550.081. REPORT OF MEDICAL EXAMINER OR JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. (a) In this section:

(1) "Department" means the Texas Department of Transportation.

(2) "Bridge collapse" means the abrupt failure of the basic structure of a bridge that impairs the ability of the bridge to serve its intended purpose and that damages a highway located on or under the structure.

(b) A medical examiner or justice of the peace acting as coroner in a county that does not have a medical examiner's office or that is not part of a medical examiner's district shall submit a report in writing to the department of the death of a person that was the result of a traffic collision or bridge collapse:

(1) to which this chapter applies; and

(2) that occurred within the jurisdiction of the medical examiner or justice of the peace in the preceding calendar quarter.

(c) The report must be submitted before the 11th day of each calendar month and include:

(1) the name of the deceased and a statement as to whether the deceased was:

(A) the operator of or a passenger in a vehicle; or

(B) a pedestrian or other nonoccupant of a vehicle;

(2) the date of the collision and the name of the county in which the collision occurred, and, if a bridge collapse, the location of the bridge in that county;

(3) the name of any laboratory, medical examiner's office, or other facility that conducted toxicological testing relative to the deceased; and

(4) the results of any toxicological testing that was conducted.

(d) A report required by this section shall be sent to:

(1) the crash records bureau of the department at its headquarters in Austin; or

(2) any other office or bureau of the department that the department designates.

(e) If toxicological test results are not available to the medical examiner or justice of the peace on the date a report must be submitted, the medical examiner or justice shall:

(1) submit a report that includes the statement "toxicological test results unavailable"; and

(2) submit a supplement to the report that contains the information required by Subsections (c)(3) and (4) as soon as practicable after the toxicological test results become available.

(f) The department shall prepare and when requested supply to medical examiners' offices and justices of the peace the forms necessary to make the reports required by this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 74 (H.B. 423), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 766), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 522 (S.B. 1218), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 709 (H.B. 2190), Sec. 61, eff. September 1, 2023.