MUMBAI: Eighty-four per cent people did not know about the 'Good Samaritan' law that protects bystanders and passers-by who render help to the victims of road accidents, a survey by an NGO working to improve road safety has found.
The study was conducted in 11 cities, namely Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, Varanasi, Ludhiana, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Indore and Kolkata with a sample size of 3667 respondents including police, hospital administration, medical practitioners and trial court lawyers, NGO SavelIFE Foundation said in a statement.
The NGO had earlier filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding a legal framework for the protection of good samaritans who rendered help to the victims of accidents.
It had led to the issuance of guidelines to this effect by the Union ministry of road transport and highways in 2016.
The survey, carried out in the end of 2018, also showed that 78 per cent respondents from Mumbai did not know about the Good Samaritan guidelines.
While the guidelines stipulate that a person reporting an accident to the police need not share his personal details, 57 per cent respondents claimed police asked for personal details while taking down information about the accident.
Police did not allow them to leave the site of the accident till further instruction, 62 per cent of those surveyed said.
"Out of the respondents willing to help, only 29 per cent were willing to escort the victim to the hospital, 28 per cent were willing to call an ambulance and only 12 per cent said they would call the police," the NGO said in a statement issued Friday.
It further said 96 per cent of the surveyed medical professionals admitted to not having a Good Samaritan law committee in their hospitals and 64 per cent of the surveyed police officials admitted they took down personal details of the Good Samaritan.
Piyush Tewari, founder-CEO of the SaveLIFE Foundation said, "It is quite evident from the study that even two years after the institution of the Good Samaritan law, citizens are unaware of their new rights when they help an injured person on the road. Consequently, people are still hesitant to help."
"States should ensure that lives that can be saved are not lost merely due to fear in the public of getting harassed upon helping someone," he added.