The Maharashtra government has decided to protect good Samaritans, who help road accident victims, for their good intentions even in case of death of the victim.
It means if you are trying to help a road accident victim and if he or she dies owing to some negligence, you will not be held responsible. A bill - ‘The Maharashtra Transport and Roads Safety Act’ — to this effect was passed in the Maharashtra assembly on Thursday. The bill, which aims to help in regulating safety measures to curb the number of road accidents and resulting fatalities, is expected to be tabled before the legislative council on Friday for approval. Once cleared, it will come in to force with immediate effect.
“A good Samaritan shall not be liable for any civil or criminal action for any injury or death of a road accident victim that resulted with his or her negligence in acting or failing to act while rendering emergency medical or non-medical care or assistance,” says the bill. However, the state government may adopt a procedure for questioning the good Samaritan and disclosure of his personal information in such matter.
Many times, people are wary of the repercussions and hesitate to take an injured to the hospital. The government now hopes this will end citizens’ hesitation before helping a road accident victim.
The new legislation is in line with the guidelines issued by the ministry of road transport and highways in 2015, which says, “The Central government considers it necessary to protect such people from harassment on the actions being taken by them to save the life of a road accident victim.”
Besides, it also provides protection to government officials or employees who in good faith try to help a road accident victim. The state will not start any suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings against them, says the bill.
Aiming to regulate safety measures, the bill makes computerised test for learners for a driving licence, a refresher course for driver who caused the death of a person and a certificate for eye sight for people above the age of 50 years, mandatory. It will also bring restrictions on the use of horns.
It will further regulate testing of commercial vehicles on automated vehicle inspection, stringent punishment for violations of traffic rules, regulating non-motorised modes of transport — horse-driven carriages and empowers the state to constitute a Mobile Motor Vehicles Court for speedy disposal of traffic-related offences.
The new legislation will enable the state to regulate the decibel level of sirens being fitted to ambulances with . “If the siren of the ambulance is not in conformity with the specifications, it shall liable to be confiscated,” says the legislation.
The bill also empowers the state government to constitute Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) for metropolitan areas to co-ordinate multimodal goods and passenger services including vehicles, roads, railways, metro, mono rail and their logistical hubs. The authority shall be responsible for planning, co-ordination, implementation and monitoring infrastructure development and development of service agencies for different modes of transport.