The road ministry on Monday said it has launched a scheme for 'Good Samaritans' under which a cash award of Rs 5,000 will be given to those who save the life of a road accident victim by rushing him/her to the hospital within the 'golden hour' of the mishap.
In a letter to principal and transport secretaries of all states and union territories, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) said the scheme would be effective from October 15, 2021 till March 31, 2026.
The ministry on Monday issued guidelines for the "scheme for grant of the award to the Good Samaritan who has saved life of a victim of a fatal accident involving a motor vehicle by administering immediate assistance and rushing to hospital/trauma Care Centre within the Golden Hour of the accident to provide medical treatment."
To motivate the general public to help the road accident victims in an emergency situation, MoRTH said " the amount of award for each Good Samaritan would be Rs. 5,000 per incident."
"Every cash award would be accompanied with a certification of appreciation," it added.
Besides awards in each case, the ministry said there will be 10 national-level awards for the most worthy Good Samaritans (to be selected from all those who have been awarded during the whole year) and they would be given an award of Rs 1,00,000 each.
According to the guidelines, if more than one Good Samaritan saves the life of more than one victim, the amount of award will be Rs 5,000 per victim saved, subject to maximum of Rs 5,000 per Good Samaritan.
'Golden hour' refers to the 1-hour time period following a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood of preventing death by providing prompt medical care.
MoRTH said it will provide Rs 5 lakh as an initial grant to the transport department of states and UTs for making payment to the Good Samaritan.
As per provisions under Section 134A of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019, rules for Good Samaritans had been notified by the ministry on September 29, 2020.
"Now, it has been felt that there is a need to motivate the general public through cash awards and certificates to help the road accident victims in an emergency situation and to boost their morale, and also to inspire and motivate others to save lives of the road accident victims," the ministry said.
According to the guidelines, in case the incident is informed to the police at the first hand by the Good Samaritan, after verifying details from the doctor, the police shall provide an acknowledgement to such Good Samaritan on an official letter pad.
The copy of the acknowledgement would be sent to the appraisal committee formed at the district level under the chairmanship of the district magistrate by the concerned police station, with a copy marked to the Good Samaritan.
In case the Good Samaritan takes the victim to the hospital directly, the hospital shall provide all the details to the concerned police station.
The police shall provide an acknowledgement to such Good Samaritan, it added.
As per the guidelines, an individual Good Samaritan can be awarded a maximum of five times in a year.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha recently, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had said a total of 3,66,138 road accidents occurred in India during the calendar year 2020, causing 1,31,714 deaths.