In a bid to encourage people to extend helping hands to the road mishap victims immediately, Odisha government has modified its Good Samaritan Policy, 2018 and made provision that police officers can also endorse a person for cash reward.
Police officers can now endorse and give recommendation letters to the saviours of road accident victims for cash reward under Good Samaritan Policy. "Till date, only doctors were authorized to issue such letters," a statement issued by the State Transport Authority (STA) said.
The policy was modified after it was observed that in most of the cases doctors were not able to recommend names of Good Samaritan due to their busy schedule.
In this context, State Transport Authority proposed to the government that other than the treating physician, police officers like investigating officers, inspectors in-charge of police stations enquiring into the accident cases may be authorized to recommend the names of the Good Samaritans to the RTOs so that more number of deserving good samaritans can be rewarded for their noble deed.
Good Samaritan Policy-2018 was introduced in the state to recognise and encourage people to save and assist the accident victims during the first hour of road accident termed as Golden Hour'. Road accident deaths can be reduced by 50 per cent if the victim gets assistance within the golden hour, the STA said.
As per existing norms of the policy, the hospital authority not below the Assistant Surgeon who receive the accident patient were authorised to recommend names of good samaritan to the respective RTOs for reward.
The policy has provisions that the good samaritan or the bystander shall be suitably rewarded or compensated to encourage other citizens to come forward and help the road accident victims by admitting them to hospitals. It also has the provision of rewarding Rs 2,000 in each case for the good samaritan.
Official sources said that a total of 25,257 deaths were reported due to road accidents in Odisha from 2017 to 2021.