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Save a Life and Be a Good Samaritan

Road accident is increasing day-by-day. As more people are buying automobiles, the incidences of road accident are increasing. Road accident is happening due to not paying attention and driving carelessly. Especially in big cities, people are so busy in their life due to which people do not follow traffic rules. The rise in these incidences are creating problem for people who walk over footpath, the people who walk on footpath are not safe. Everyday there are at least one or two news of road accident are in newspaper. Every year thousands of people died in road accident and more than 50 thousand people injured.

Statistics on Road accident

When the road accident happens, then people who are passing by there, do not help the person due to the fear of police. In 2018, India had 467,044 reported road accidents, an increase of 0.5% from 464,910 in 2017, according to road ministry data. Each year 1.35 million people are killed in road accident around the world. In 2019 traffic related deaths rise by 10 percent as comparison to previous year. In 2018, Delhi reported the highest number of deaths in road accident. According to report, 1214 road crashes occur every day in India. The accidents are mostly observed in two wheelers about 25%. According to survey most of the accidents occur under the age of 14-year children. In 2018, Tamil Nadu reports maximum number of road accident about 63 thousand cases. As people are buying automobiles day-by-day, the road accident is also increasing day-by-day.

With the help of other people, many people can be saved in road accident. But in big cities people think that they are not free to help someone. And in other cities people having fear of police. They think police will arrest them if they will help that the accident victims. In India, police stop that person who has helped the accident victim. Police only ask questions for investigation but this investigation becomes too hectic for those people. They roam police station and their work life suffers that’s why they avoid to help accident victims. 20% people fear about police and 80% people think another person will help. This mentality of people is increasing the death rate of road accident. Due to the negligence of government, most people are killed in road accident today. The people who pass by seeing the accident assume that other people will help the accident victim and this thing goes on; no one help that victim and afterward the person gets died on the road. After his death, people call police and ambulance. These mentalities of people take many lives of other people. However, even as road accidents are dealt under the provisions of criminal law of the country, you don’t become a criminal by doing a Good Samaritan’s job. The guidelines clearly directs all hospitals, police and other authorities that “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.” Not only this, it also directs the authorities that the Good Samaritans be “suitably rewarded or compensated” so that other citizens can come forward and help those in distress.

“There is one incident a person was driving bike without wearing helmet, afterward a truck bump that bike. The person got so much injured, a lot of people gathered around him but no one help him because they were not having time and fear of police. There was one vegetable seller who was stopping people for help but no one stops and listens. At the same time, accident victim’s father also passed from there but he has not helped him due to lack of time and said ‘I am not having time to help you, if I will waste time here then my 1-day salary will be cut’. And he passes from there. When no one helps accident victim then the vegetable seller brings his vegetable cart and took him to the hospital. When victim’s father got to know that his son has an accident, then he quickly reached there. When he reached there, he came to know that man was seeking help for an accident victim who was none other than his own son. Then the accident victim’s father said ‘Thank you for helping and saving the life of my son. You have done such a big thing for me what can I do for you, you demand’. The vegetable seller said, “don’t say thank you because this is our responsibility to help other. Instead of thank you, you can give me promise that whenever you see an accident, stop immediately and go to help the accident victim.” Then the accident victim’s father promises him. This incident tells us that whenever we do not help someone due to lack of time or fear of police, it takes life of someone’s family. That life can be of any person whose death can shatter the lives of his/her beloved.

Reason, why road accident range is high?

There are many causes due to which road accident happen. People do not follow rules like red light, driving on wrong side, etc. due to which road accident occurs. Some more causes are: -

1.    People drink and drive car due to which people could not handle the car and car accident happens.

2.    People do not follow traffic rules.

3.    People do not wear seat belt or helmet for their protection.

4.    People use mobile phones while driving.

5.    People drive vehicles in rush, due to which they cannot handle it and accident occur.

6.    In India, the condition of road is bad due to which accident occur.

7.    Many accidents occur due to cows, dogs suddenly come in front of vehicle and in order to protect them, accident happens.

8.    Many accidents happen in rainy season when the damaged road is not visible or the road is slippery then it is obvious that vehicle may disbalance.

9.    Sometimes mechanical issue in vehicle leads to accidents.

Some safety by ourselves to save our life: -

1.    We have to wear helmet and seat belt while driving.

2.    We have to follow all traffic rules like stop on red light, start car on yellow light and go on green light.

3.    We have to drive vehicle up to limited speed; we should not rash vehicle on empty road.

4.    We should not use mobile phones while driving, when we have to use mobile phone then we have to stop vehicle on side of road then should use mobile phones.

5.    We should not drive car while drunken, it can be harmful for us.

6.    Government should correct the road and fill the dents from road. Proper maintenance and drainage system are to be ensured to take the care of the roads.

To reduce the road accident, we have to be alert while driving. We have to follow all rules and regulation while driving. We need to be cautious and careful while driving. Safe driving is crucial – applying seat belts, wearing helmets, keep your vehicles updated, driving not too fast etc.

When accident happens then other people need to help accident victim to save his life. You need to just call on 100 and 108 to get immediate medication and police help. Being selfish can also feel regret in us for the loss of an innocent life. The accidents are happening every day but to save many lives is possible by our efforts and support.

Law to help Accident Victims

Also, the road accident victims and family cannot be harassed by the insurance company and the police. They are to be treated on priority by the medical staff. The insurance company need to take actions based on evidences but they couldn’t escape their responsibilities. Police need to be polite and understanding and they cannot harass the victim.

A first information report (FIR) registered by police about a road accident is sufficient to award compensation to the victim or the family even if no formal claim petition is filed, the Supreme Court ruled on Nov 22, 2018, in a move that could significantly benefit survivors or the families of the victims that aren’t adequately informed about the procedure to be followed after an accident.

In an order that will benefit claimants in motor accident compensation cases, a bench of justices AM Sapre & Indu Malhotra said the claims tribunal is empowered to treat the report of accidents as an application under the law.

The Supreme Court bench said that the law providing compensation in motor accident cases is a beneficial legislation aimed to give solace to victims who either suffer injury or die before their time.

The police and insurance companies need to assist the victims and family. They could not trouble them on the basis of compensation. On a hearing in court, once judge said no money can compensate the loss of life so insurance company cannot run off from their duty.

Government Guidelines to safeguard the one who help an accident victim: -

Good Samaritan Law

Government has mentioned a charitable or helpful person who helps an accident victim as a Samaritan. The Supreme Court of India passed the guidelines to motivate people to help road accident victims and it clearly states following rules for the Samaritans. Good Samaritan laws offer legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are, or who they believe to be, injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated

·      A bystander or good Samaritan even an eye-witness of a street mischance may take an harmed individual to the closest clinic, and the bystander or good Samaritan ought to be permitted to take off instantly but after providing address by the eye-witness only and no address should be inquired to such bystander or good Samaritan.

·      The bystander or good Samaritan might be appropriately remunerated or compensated to motivate other citizens to come forward to help the street mishap within the way as may be indicated by the State Governments.

·      The bystander of good Samaritan shall not be liable for any civil and criminal liability.

·      A bystander or good Samaritan, who makes a phone call to inform the police or crisis administrations for the individual lying harmed on the street, might not be compelled to disclose his name and personal details on the phone or in person.

·      The divulgence of individual data, such as name and contact, personal details of the good Samaritan should be made voluntary and optional including within the Medico Legitimate Case (MLC) form given by hospitals.

·      The disciplinary or departmental action shall be initiated by the Government concerned against public officials who harm, enquire, force or trouble a bystander or good Samaritan for revealing his name or personal details.

·      The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shall issue guidelines stating that all registered public and private hospitals are not to detain bystander or good Samaritan or demand payment for registration and admission costs, unless the good Samaritan is a family member or relative of the injured and the injured is to be treated immediately in pursuance of the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Pt. Parmanand Katara Vs Union of India & Ors [1989] 4 SCC 286.

·       In case a bystander or good Samaritan so desires, the hospital shall provide and acknowledgement to such good Samaritan, confirming that an injured person was brought to the hospital and the time and place of such occurrence and the acknowledgement may be prepared in a standard format by the State Government and disseminated to all hospitals in the State for incentivizing the bystander or good Samaritan as deemed fit by the State Government.

·      Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation pertaining to road accidents shall constitute ‘professional misconduct’

Some ways to help an accident victim: -

We should help accident victim by calling ambulance or if ambulance takes time to come and you feel the person is critical, then take him to the hospital. If you are unable to take him to the hospital then stop another vehicle for help. Try to make the accident victim feel calm. Whenever you see an accident has occurred, immediately stop car there and go there to help accident victim.

Some points to be kept in mind while helping victim-

·      Never drag him or move his neck because there can be a chance of spinal injuries while doing so. If you find the victim in unnatural position, do not move the body because now medical professionals can help. Moving the body may distorts the organ, bone structure of the victim.

·      If victim is stabbed by some object, then remove that object because it is the only thing that is preventing his blood loss. When victim reaches hospital, doctor can immediately remove and treat the injuries but if you remove it may cause severe blood loss that may lead to death of victim on the way. Also, if the object is piercing any delicate organ or any body part, it is possible that the way we remove the stabbed object can widen the injury and this may increase the injury. Like the knife stabbed in upper part of stomach can pierce the diaphragm while removing and it can lead to death of the patient.

·      Never feed water or food to the victim because it may be possible that victim would not be able to swallow and gets choked so do not feed anything.

·      Never panic and stay calm. If you stay calm, patients will feel easy otherwise it may cause him panic attack and he may die.

·      Even if you feel it’s a mistake still call the police as soon the accident happens. It is very important to inform the police about the accident so that police may contact his family and can help to arrange the things in situation.

Do not leave the accident victim due to lack of time, because life is more important than time. People always fear about police that police will arrest the person who has helped accident victim. No, police will appreciate you, not arrest you. Now a days, police has changed - they advise people to save the live if the ambulance gets late. Never think that if you will stop here to help person than your 1-day salary will deduct, always thinks if you will help one person, he will be saved. Empathize that when you will be in danger then someone will help you then why shouldn’t you. If you start helping the people then you will always be blessed. Always help people without seeing your benefit.

“Life is more precious than time, time can be found again but life cannot be got again. Always help the people more than your time."