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Vision

SaveLIFE Foundation is creating a world where bystanders can confidently aid road crash victims without fear of harassment. Our mission is to equip and protect Good Samaritans who step forward to save a life. In areas with limited emergency services, we empower individuals to bridge the gap and provide lifesaving assistance. SLF believes the Good Samaritan Law transforms bystanders into active participants, making a vital difference in high-fatality zones.

Solution

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasises that even advanced pre-hospital trauma care systems are ineffective without bystanders who recognize emergencies, call for help, and provide basic aid. Bystanders must feel empowered to act without fear of legal consequences.

Recognizing the critical role of bystanders, the SaveLIFE Foundation relentlessly advocated for legal reform alongside generating and shaping evidence for the need for reforms. This advocacy led to Writ Petition (Civil) 235/2012, urging the Supreme Court to protect Good Samaritans.  SLF further championed road safety through parliamentary engagement, culminating in the Supreme Court’s 2016 standardisation of Good Samaritan protection procedures.  The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019,  codified this protection into law with Section 134(A).

Progress

In October 2014, the Government of India endorsed SLF’s recommendations, setting the stage for institutionalisation of Good Samaritan Law through the Supreme Court Judgment. On March 30, 2016, the Supreme Court of India pronounced its judgement and instituted the country’s first-ever national, legally-binding Good Samaritan Law  tIn  2019, the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 was amended by the Parliament of India to give additional legislative backing to the Good Samaritan protections.

On September 29, 2020, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued a notification enshrining Good Samaritan protections in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. SaveLIFE’s recommendations directly contributed to these rules, including provisions for language interpreters and video conferencing during the examination of Good Samaritans.

SaveLIFE is continuing to actively engage with the Central and State Governments to ensure effective implementation of the Good Samaritan Law.

Delhi:

SLF worked with the Delhi Government to extend Delhi Arogya Kosh scheme to provide cashless treatment to road crash victims. This further incentivised bystanders to take road crash victims to Hospitals without fear of being asked to pay for their treatment.

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Way Forward

Moving forward, SaveLIFE Foundation is committed to partnering with State Governments to establish and implement a comprehensive district-level Grievance Redressal Mechanism pursuant to India’s Good Samaritan Law. This strategic initiative is designed to facilitate the prompt and efficient resolution of issues, guaranteeing the availability of accessible reporting channels for the public. By prioritising such measures, SaveLIFE aims to significantly enhance confidence among lay responders, thereby encouraging them to provide timely and crucial emergency assistance without hesitation. This endeavour underscores SLF’s dedication to bolstering the legal and operational framework that supports Good Samaritans, reinforcing a culture of proactive community involvement in emergency response efforts across the nation.

Resources

  • The Judgement: In 2012, the SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF) took action to ensure Good Samaritans—those who help road crash victims—aren’t harassed by police, hospitals, or the courts. Their efforts led to a historic Supreme Court ruling establishing national protection guidelines for Good Samaritans. [link to the judgement]
  • 2013 Study on Impediments to Bystander Care: SLF investigated why people might be reluctant to aid road crash victims. This study surveyed over 1,000 people in major Indian cities to understand the barriers to helping.
  • 2018 Study: The Impact of the Good Samaritan Law: The Impact of the Good Samaritan Law:  SLF followed up with a nationwide study to see if the new law was making a difference. They interviewed over 3,600 people, including Good Samaritans, police, doctors, and lawyers in 11 cities. This study found that awareness of the law was still low and hospitals needed better systems to support Good Samaritans.

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