India has the largest number of road accidents in the world, and there is good reason for that, as it has the highest two-wheeler population in the world and also the highest traffic density. India is also notorious for its high number of notorious drivers and riders on the road, riding or driving all kinds of vehicles of all sizes, without any regard for the law and the safety of other people as well.
What is worse than the number of accidents taking place in India is the way the public reacts to the accident. Well, we are very familiar with the state of emergency public facilities like, Ambulance, Police and the fire brigade in our country and also with the fact that these emergency services will reach the accident spot way too late.
This also means that the by-standers and the immediate members of the public at the accident scene are the ones who have to do something about the people injured in the accident. Yes, there are many good Samaritans in the country who offer their services to help those injured, but it is displeasing to hear that most of the time these Good Samaritans from among the public, are harassed by the authorities. Most of the time, the Police!
The police usually take their chance on these Good Samaritans to make a quick buck or just to get their thrills, by misusing their authority. Well, this will not happen anymore, as the Government of India has issued a few guidelines and Rules for the Public as well as authorities to follow, which has come to the rescue of the Good Samaritans.
The Notification Number – 25035/101/2014RS has specified 15 guidelines to be followed, some of them are highlighted below:
- A bystander or good Samaritan shall be suitably rewarded or compensated to encourage other citizens to come forward and help accident victims in a manner as may be specified by the State Governments.
- The disclosure of personal information shall be voluntary or optional including in the Medico Legal Cases.
- If a bystander or good Samaritan is an eye witness to an accident and needs to be examined for the purpose of investigation by the police or during the trial, such person shall be examined on a single occasion and the state governments will develop the standard operating procedures to ensure that the person is not harassed or intimidated.
- A bystander or good Samaritan including an eyewitness of a road accident may take an injured person to the nearest hospital and he/she would be allowed to leave immediately and no question shall be asked.
- A bystander or good Samaritan who makes a phone call to inform police or emergency services shall not be compelled to reveal his name or personal details on the phone or in person.
- Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation pertaining to road accidents, where he is expected to provide care, shall constitute “Professional Misconduct” under chapter 7 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002 and disciplinary action shall be taken against such a doctor under chapter 8 of the said regulations.
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Also see: Steps to take after a Car Accident