Back in October this year, the central government rolled out the Good Samaritan scheme under the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019. The additional clause was added so that people would be encouraged to help others in case of a road accident. However, nearly two months since its rollout, the state governments are yet to implement the new scheme, according to a recent report. Under the Good Samaritan Scheme, those helping road accident victims would be recognised and rewarded, while the process to admit the victim to the hospital would be hassle-free.
To officially make this a part of the law, the Centre inserted Section 134A in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, which deals with “Protection of Good Samaritans.” In its statement, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) said, “Any individual who has saved the life of a victim of a fatal accident involving a motor vehicle by administering immediate assistance and rushing to the hospital within the golden hour of the accident to provide medical treatment would be eligible for the award. An individual Good Samaritan can be awarded a maximum of five times in a year.”
Good Samaritans will receive a reward of ₹ 5,000 and can also decline to share their identity from the investigative agencies
Traditionally, Indians have been reluctant to help road accident victims with the fear of embroiling themselves in the bureaucratic mess that these can turn out to be. However, the amendment aims to counter this. The central government even gave an initial grant of ₹ 5 lakh to each state for the same. However, the report suggests that states haven’t even opened bank accounts to receive the money. The ministry will now send a reminder to the states to implement the scheme, suggests the report.
Some of the benefits of helping road accident victims include a reward of ₹ 5,000 per accident. The Good Samaritan is free to not disclose their name to the law enforcement agencies. They can also choose to not be involved in the legal process and investigation after the accident.
States are required to popularise this scheme through publicity initiatives at the district level. The local administration also needs to keep a record of the Good Samaritans and upload their details on a central website on a monthly basis, according to the report. With over five lakh road accidents and 150,000 deaths every year. India has one of the highest road-accident related fatalities in the world. These deaths can be avoided if the victims receive treatment within an hour, also termed as the golden hour.
Source: Indian Express
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