Central government has implemented Good Samaritan road accident program, but has yet to take advantage of it: report

In October of this year, the central government implemented the Good Samaritan program under the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019. The additional clause was added so that people are encouraged to help others in the event of a road accident. However, nearly two months after its deployment, state governments have yet to implement the new program, according to a recent report. Under the Good Samaritan program, those who help victims of traffic accidents would be recognized and rewarded, while the process of admitting the victim to the hospital would be hassle-free.

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To formally incorporate it into law, the Center inserted Section 134A into the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019, which deals with “Protection of the Good Samaritans”. In its statement, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) said: “Anyone 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 reward. An individual Good Samaritan can be awarded a maximum of five times per year.

Good Samaritans will receive a reward of 5,000 and can also refuse to share their identity with investigative agencies.

Traditionally, Indians have been reluctant to help victims of road accidents for fear of getting involved in the bureaucratic mess that can turn out to be. However, the amendment seeks to counter that. 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 states to implement the program, the report suggests.

Some of the benefits of helping traffic accident victims include a reward of 5,000 per accident. The Good Samaritan is free not to disclose his name to the police. They can also choose not to be involved in the legal process and the investigation after the accident.

Also read: Road Safety Month 2021: What to do when you witness a traffic accident

States are required to popularize this device through advertising initiatives at the district level. The local government is also to keep track of Good Samaritans and upload their contact details to a central website every month, according to the report. With over five lakh traffic accidents and 150,000 deaths each year. India has one of the highest road crash fatalities in the world. These deaths can be avoided if the victims receive treatment within the hour, also known as the golden hour.

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Source: Indian Express

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