Good Samaritans are now protected by the Notification of the Central Government dated 12th May 2015

The United Nations’ has declared 2011–2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety initiative.

“Safety of Self and Others has been a major stimulus of V Citizens Action Network (VCAN) and Road Safety issue is something we feel very strongly about”.

Whilst trying to widen our network to include like-minded organizations from other cities, we were approached by SaveLIFE Foundation to join them to strengthen the work on Road Safety issues.
We went on to become a Founder Member of the National Road Safety Alliance (NRSA) established in New Delhi. The coordination for NRSA as well as the secretarial assistance is provided by the SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF).

“One of the major segments of Road Safety is, to provide assistance to the injured on the road.”

According to 201st Report of the Law Commission of India, 50% of such fatalities can be prevented through rapid care.
Given that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) including life-support ambulances and trained paramedics are limited in India, trained and empowered bystanders can play a crucial role in saving lives –“ a concept described and recognized by the World Health Organization as “Bystander Care”.
However, in India “Bystanders/Good Samaritans” hesitate to step forward and render assistance to the victim, and help those injured in road accidents or violence. They fear of becoming involved in lengthy investigations and liability, procedural and legal hassles.

Such a fear is not unfounded, as Good Samaritans who help injured persons are detained by hospitals till arrival of Police and made to attend court proceedings for years.
Therefore, in order to enable Bystanders to come forward and help injured persons, a supportive legal and ethical environment is the need of the hour.

In this regard, the Government of India is now considering bringing legislation to empower Good Samaritans.
Whilst the drafting of the Good Samaritan Bill is underway, the Government of India, through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,

“has published a Notification on the Good Samaritan, dated 12th May 2015, for the protection of Good Samaritans.”

This Notification needs the widest publicity. Citizens and Hospitals as well as various Authorities need to know about the provisions in this Notification. The use of this Notification will most certainly save many lives, which would otherwise be lost!

To view the Central Government Notification dated 12th May 2015 click here.

 

The Author, Indrani Malkani, is the Managing Trustee of V Citizens Action Network (VCAN) and is an Ashoka Fellow

Tags: