Now you get rewarded when you help an accident victim. Learn about the updates to the good Samaritan law.
Have you ever seen an accident and instinctively felt like you wanted to help but didn’t because you were afraid of the consequences. Well, we won’t blame you because before 2015 you might’ve gotten into legal troubles for even helping someone, but in 2015 Indian government passed the Good Samaritan law which freed people who wanted to help from their worries of getting arrested or worse.
Things are changing for good!
We are sure you already know something regarding Good Samaritan law but to sum it up, the first provision of the said law states “A bystander or good Samaritan including an eyewitness of a road accident may take an injured person to the nearest hospital, and the bystander or good Samaritan should be allowed to leave immediately except after furnishing address by the eyewitness only and no question shall be asked to such bystander or good Samaritan”
This is done precisely because Central Government considers it necessary to protect the Good Samaritans from harassment on the actions being taken by them to save the life of the road accident victims.
So if you help someone who’s had a road accident no action can be taken against you. Unless of course, you didn’t cause the accident.
The incentive system
Incentives are the supposed money or award that the Good samaritan receives after helping a victim. It’s awarded for the recognition of bravery and compassion of that Good Samaritan which is a laudable effort by the government.
The incentive system has been in place in different individual states until now, notably Delhi which agreed to provide Rs.2000 for people who help the accident victims as reported by Logical Indian.
Also, the state of Karnataka had a similar system to encourage the bystanders to take up action during these unfortunate events.
The Central Government Incentive scheme for Good Samaritan law
On 4th October 2021, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has come up with a scheme to improve the general awareness of the law through an incentive system.
As the official document which you can view by clicking here, States a 5000Rs incentive will be provided for every Good Samaritan who saves an accident victim.
Conditions for being considered for a reward
As plain as the scheme looks as you read through the document there are specific conditions for one to be considered for this award. Some of them are
- The person should have helped the victim within the Golden hour as the chances of saving the victim is higher, the golden hour is defined by the government as a period lasting one hour after following a traumatic injury.
- Even if you save more than one person it’ll still be 5000 Rs
- If more than one person saves the life of the victim, everyone will be considered as good Samaritans and the 5000Rs will be shared amongst them
- The consideration for the award is only when there’s a major surgery involved, requires more than 3 days of hospital care, a spinal cord injury, or a brain injury.
- Every cash award will be accompanied by a certificate of appreciation
- This doesn’t apply to those who are working in Medical facilities.
- An individual can be awarded a maximum of 5 times a year
A National award for being a Good Samaritan.
Also, the scheme promises a national level award which aims to recognize 10 Good Samaritans every year and award them Rs.1,00,000.
Some of the major points of detail mentioned in the scheme
Name of the scheme
The scheme shall be called the “Scheme for grant of the award to the Good Samaritan who has saved the life of a victim of a fatal accident involving a motor vehicle by administering immediate assistance and rushing to hospital/Trauma care center within Golden hour of the accident to provide medical treatment”
Period of operation of the scheme
The scheme will remain operational till the completion of the financial cycle, I.e till 31st march 2026
The objective of the scheme
To motivate the general public to help the road accident victims in an emergency, inspire and motivate others to save innocent lives
Any individual who has saved the life of a victim of a fatal accident involving a motor vehicle by administering immediate assistance rushing to Hospital within the golden hour of the accident to provide medical treatment.”
Definition of Golden Hour
As per motor vehicle act section 2 (12A) “golden hour” means the period lasting one hour following a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood of preventing death by providing prompt medical care
Definition of Fatal accident
Any road accident involving motor vehicle leading to any of the following conditions during treatment to victim and certificate of fatality by hospital
- Major surgery involved
- Minimum three days of hospitalization
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Procedure to be followed for selection
Good Samaritan after verifying details from Doctor the police shall provide acknowledgment to such Good Samaritan, on official letter pad, mentioning the name of the good Samaritan, his mobile number, and other incident details. The copy of the acknowledgment would be sent to the Appraisal committee formed at the District level under the chairmanship of the District Magistrate by the concerned police station, with a copy marked as Good Samaritan.
In case the Good Samaritan takes the victim to the hospital directly, the concerned hospital shall provide all the details to the concerned police station. The police shall provide an acknowledgment to such good Samaritan, on an official letter pad, mentioning the name of the good Samaritan and the details of the incident. A copy of the acknowledgment would be sent to the Magistrate
Release of Financial assistance by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
MoRTH will provide Rs 5 Lakhs as an initial grant to the Transport department of the state/UT for making the payment for Good Samaritans. A separate bank account shall be maintained for this scheme by the state /UT
The fund would be released to the Good Samaritans by the state/UT transport department based on the recommendations of the appraisal committee at the district level. The amount would be reimbursed by the Department of Road transport on monthly basis.
THE SCHEME IS EFFECTIVE FROM 15TH OCTOBER 2021.