- A bystander or Good Samaritan shall not face any civil and criminal liability arising out of helping a road crash victim.
- A Good Samaritan, who informs the police or emergency services of the person lying injured on the road, shall not be compelled to reveal his name and personal details on the phone or in person.
- Disclosure of personal information of the Good Samaritan in the Medico-Legal Case (MLC) form provided by hospitals shall be voluntary.
- Disciplinary or departmental action shall be initiated by the Government concerned against public officials who coerce or intimidate a bystander or Good Samaritan for revealing his name or personal details.
- A Good Samaritan who has voluntarily stated that he is also an eyewitness to the accident shall be examined on a single occasion and the State Government shall develop standard operating procedures to ensure that bystander or Good Samaritan is not harassed or intimidated.
- Video conferencing may be used extensively during the examination of a bystander or Good Samaritan including eye-witnesses in order to prevent harassment and inconvenience to Good Samaritans..
- Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation pertaining to road crashes, where he is expected to provide care, shall constitute “Professional Misconduct”, under Chapter 7 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002 and disciplinary action shall be taken against such doctor under Chapter 8 of the said Regulations.
- In case a Good Samaritan so desires, the hospital shall provide an acknowledgment confirming that an injured person was brought to the hospital to such Good Samaritan.
With over one million road crash deaths in India in the past decade alone, this translates to half-a-million people whose lives could have been saved. In the absence of an established Emergency Medical Services system, bystanders and passersby can play a crucial role in saving lives. Yet, in India, they don’t – mostly out of fear of police harassment and prolonged court cases.
- India’s fatality share: India accounts for around 13% share of global deaths related to road accidents.
- NEED for the law: Approximately 50% of the road accident-related deaths were preventable if first aid was provided to the victim on time
- PRESENT SITUATION
- More than 80% of people are not aware of samaritan law
- 59% of Good Samaritans reported being detained by the POLICE despite the law
- More than 75% of medical professionals reported that no action was taken against professionals who didn’t comply with Good Samaritan Law.
- KEY FACTORS FOR ROAD CRASHES
- Bad road-user behavior
- Fractured licensing system
- Driver training not mandatory
- Negligible management of fatigue
- Flawed Road Design and Engineering
- Road user conflict
- Poor road design with disregard to Safe System Approach
- Poor road engineering and maintenance
- No safety standards for vehicles
- Week enforcement of traffic law
- Lack of rapid trauma care
- Bad road-user behavior
ABOUT THE SLF ORGANISATION
- After his cousin died in a road crash, in 2008 Piyush Tewari founded SLF with the aim of improving road safety emergency care across India. Piyush, who was then the Managing Director of Calibrated Group’s (a US-based private equity firm) India operations, started studying the space of emergency care and discovered that 50% of all road crash deaths in India can be prevented if the victims received timely care.
- SLF started with training police personnel — the first responders at most accident spots — in basic trauma and life support skills.
- Over the past 8 years, SLF has expanded its operations to include advocacy for stronger road safety and emergency care laws and an accident prevention training program for high-risk commercial drivers.
- Based out of New Delhi, today SLF has operations in over 10 states and union territories across the country and has impacted policy to bring a permanent change in road safety and emergency care in India.
- 2012–SaveLIFE Foundation files a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court of India, to safeguard Good Samaritans from ensuing legal and procedural hassles.
- 2013–Writ Petition 427 – SaveLIFE Foundation & Anr. versus Union of India & Anr prays for striking down Rule 93(8) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules which allows for protruding rods, mandating that they be carried only in covered trailers and fixing criminal liability on violators once the rule is struck down. The proviso was struck down by goi in MARCH 2014
- 2014 Private Members Bill titled ‘Good Samaritan (Protection from Civil and Criminal Liabilities) and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill’, 2014 is introduced by Member of Parliament Smt. Kirron Kher,
- 2015-Private Members Bill titled ‘Good Samaritan (Protection from Civil and Criminal Liabilities) and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill’, 2014 is introduced by Member of Parliament Smt. Kirron Kher.
- 2016-The Government of India releases detailed Standard Operating Procedures for police and trial courts to follow while dealing with Good Samaritans
- 2016 FEB.Launch of the Zero Fatality Corridor initiative on the Mumbai Pune Expressway which attempts to reduce road crash fatalities on the expressway from an annual average of 140 to 0, within the next 4 years
- MARCH 2016 India has a Good Samaritan Law! The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has made the implementation of Good Samaritan guidelines and SOPs binding on all States and Union Territories of India.
GOOD SAMARITAN LAW ABROAD AND ITS INTERPRETATION AND VARIATIONS
Good samaritan Laws exist in different forms in different countries and have been there for a while, for example, it may be provincially different in the same country, in some places it is covered under criminal code.
USA –All 50 states of USA and the District of Columbia have some type of Good Samaritan law. The details of good Samaritan laws/acts in USA vary by jurisdiction, including who is protected from liability and under what circumstance .The 1998 Aviation Medical Assistance Act also provided coverage for “Good Samaritans” while in flight (Section 5b)
Good Samaritan laws may be confused with the duty to rescue, as described above. U.S. and Canadian approaches to this issue differ. Under the common law, good Samaritan laws provide a defence against torts arising from the attempted rescue. Such laws do not constitute a duty to rescue, such as exists in some civil law countries, and in the common law under certain circumstances
The role Of Consent is also crucial in this regard. The Good Samaritan, cannot aid the victim without their/their guardian’s consent and can only provide first aid, for example, pulling them out of a car crash, when there was no evident injury, and this causing more injury, may not provide the good samaritan protection. The issue seems dicey.