Good Samaritan Law Project

India’s Good Samaritan Law (GSL) was passed in 2016, giving legal and financial protection to bystanders who assist victims at the scene of a road crash. However, awareness about the law remains low and good Samaritans still often suffer harassment for helping road victims.

It is estimated, that as many as 70,000 lives could be saved in India each year if bystanders came forward to help. Addressing post-crash response with reference to the GSL could make a big impact on the 150,000 road deaths that occur across India. Civil society has a big role to play in awareness raising, education, and promotion of the law.

Alliance NGO response

With 24 members across 10 states in India, the Alliance, supported by the UPS Foundation, undertook a study among its members in two states in India, Punjab and Rajasthan, to determine the legal and programmatic framework for implementation of the GSL and to assess the capacity of Alliance member NGOs to support that implementation.

Capacity building

As a result of the study, the Alliance, in collaboration with Think Niti, organizers of the WHO Legal Development Programme (LDP) on Road Safety in India, is organizing training for Alliance members in India to interpret the law and use this knowledge to plan and execute GSL awareness campaigns in their communities.

Due to Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the training will be delivered both virtually from 2 – 4 February 2021 with maximum of four hours per day. Successful applicants will be notified and receive the full agenda of the training.

The training will cover:

  1. GSL legal framework including guidelines and penalties when it is not applied
  2. How to build an effective message to increase GSL awareness
  3. How to get your message across
  4. How to build partnerships and coalitions to increase GSL awareness
  5.  Campaign management and action planning

Read the concept note HERE and apply for the training by 23 December 2020 HERE.

Study findings

The Alliance’s study found that India has taken a significant step to improve post-crash response by passing the GSL but there are still challenges. It identified a number of ways to strengthen NGOs’ work on this issue.

  • Common guidelines for India, aligned with WHO’s, for promoting the GSL
  • Capacity building for NGOs to carry out GSL awareness campaigns in India through targeting communities and different stakeholders 
  • Technical training in first aid to equip NGOs with skills that they can cascade down to the community 
  • Toolkits and training materials to support NGOs in addressing challenges from the various stakeholders, e.g., police, hospitals, schools, truck drivers, bystanders etc. 
  • Extensive and sustainable social awareness programs among citizens
  • A push for establishment of hospital boards to oversee the implementation of GSL by health professionals
  • Training for police officials to be fully aware of GSL guidelines
  • Advocacy aimed at the judiciary for early and effective judgment, redefining the grey areas of the law to minimize harassment of Good Samaritans 
  • A push for legislation to establish an authority to receive, process, and act on grievances from Good Samaritans

Read the report HERE.