New norms to help accident victims

New norms to help accident victims

In a bid to encourage people to help accident victims, the Centre has issued a notification which will spare good samaritans from attending court and will also protect them from harassment by the police.

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways notification also says if a doctor refuses to treat an accident victim, it will be treated as professional misconduct which will lead to cancellation of the licence.

The guidelines were issued in the light of a Supreme Court order, on a petition by Delhi-based NGO Save Life Foundation, to protect bystanders or good samaritans from harassment by the police.  

At present, bystanders often do not call the police or rush victims to a hospital fearing frequent questioning and court proceedings.

According to the notification, a good samaritan, including an eyewitness, who takes an injured person to the nearest hospital should be allowed to leave immediately and no questions should be asked.  The good samaritan need not wait for the police and will not be made part of the medico-legal case.

If a good samaritan volunteers to be an eyewitness or agrees to be part of a medico-legal case, then the hospital or the police can accept the offer.

* Good Samaritans, bystanders not liable for civil, criminal liability
* State governments can reward such people for humane service
* Hospital can give receipt or certificate appreciating their act
* People who inform police about accidents need not reveal identity
* Disclosure of identity is purely voluntary

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