How many times do we see road accidents on our way? But, do we really stop by to help them? No! Very rarely do we come across people who stop to help the accident victims and take them to a nearby hospital and manage all the legal issues. The prime reason being, the lengthy police formalities and then the court matters which increase problems not just for the victims but also for those help them.
Ask any person on the roadside if they would help an road accident victim or not! The answer to the question will be the same, all over, No!! “Kaun padega jhanjhat pe. Police case ho jayega aur phir bekar me problems aa jayenge.” And due to such conditions, almost half of the people suffering from accidents die on the road, due to lack of emergency medical aids. Google and you will see numerous incidents where people complain of not being helped by the masses, only due to the fear of lengthy and harassing legal issues. If you remember, the Nirbhaya Case also had the same issues. People turned their face away when they saw the girl and her friend on the road, after they were thrown out of the bus.
But thankfully, you no longer have to fear the police formalities and also the government hassles anymore. The Supreme Court Directive has after all these years Notified Guidelines that will protect the people from ANY and ALL Civil And Criminal Legal issues related to helping a Road Accident victim.
In simple words, you will not be harassed, Not be held back in hospitals for the formalities and Not suffer legal hassles which are usually related to helping road accident victims.
The decision came in a petition that was filed in 2012 by the SAVE Life Foundation. Based on the hearings of the case, the Supreme Court had asked the Government of India to issue the needed guidelines for the benefit of the People who help the accident victims. These guidelines were to be provided within 3 months.
What is Included in the Guideline?
In order to protect the Samaritans or the people who help accident victims, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has included the given mentioned guidelines. These guidelines were notified on the 13th of May, 2015.
- People taking the injured victims to the hospitals will be allowed to leave immediately. they will not be required to answer questions. The witness may leave the hospital once they provide their address.
- The helpers will be rewarded for the assistance.
- The bystanders will have NO legal liability.
- The bystanders are free to make any number of calls to the police to share information related to the accident.
- In order to protect their identity, they will have an OPTION of not disclosing their identity in the provided Medico Legal Case, usually provided in the hospitals.
- Strict action will be taken against officials who will be found harassing the bystanders.
- Bystanders can opt to be volunteer eyewitnesses to the accident. They will be examined by officials just ONCE. Other guidelines will be issued by the Government within 30 days to ensure that the bystanders are safe and not harassed.
- In order to avoid inconvenience, the voluntary eyewitnesses will be examined using video conferencing.
- The hospitals will not detain the bystanders or even ask them for payment, unless they are relatives of the injured victims.
- In case of negligence or lack of immediate response by the doctors during the Emergency accident situations, the doctors will be strictly Deemed to Professional Misconduct.
- The bystanders helping an accident victim can request the doctors for acknowledgement for his/ her efforts in a standard format mentioning, “An Injured Person Was Brought To The Hospital Along With The Time and Place of The Occurrence.”
So, fear not and help accident victims when you come across them. Save Life!!