As we go deep into the festive season, it is not unusual to see increase in various emergencies, especially Road Traffic Accident (RTA). Every year and during the end of year festivities, there are more incidences of crime and Road Traffic Accidents. When these accidents occur, it is natural for any person who witnesses such an accident to want to help provide some form of assistance whether unskilled or skilled First Aid. However, experience has shown that as much as people wish to help, there are some obstacles that prevent sincere individuals from rendering the much needed help to save lives. How can such sincere helpers overcome these obstacles working against providing humanitarian help to accident victims? What are some of those obstacles?
Obstacle #1: Fear of being victimized or arrested by law enforcement agents (e.g. Police)
Most of the time, sincere individuals who wish to help hesitate due to the fact that there have been reports of those who tried to help in an accident situation but were eventually arrested and prosecuted for being good humanitarians.
Solution: If you wish to help in an accident situation, please go ahead. The follow suggestions may help :Be positive that no negative result will come from the help you’re trying to render; Properly identify yourself; Get other bystanders involved;,Do not claim to have the ability to perform a miracle or magic. You could tell other bystanders something like this: “I think this idea may help, if we apply it;”
• Talk (i.e. explain whatever you are doing to others who are involved in helping). If the casualty is conscious, let him know what you are doing to help him;
• Contact the casualty’s family;
• And any other thing that can ensure that you do not suffer unduly for rendering help;
• Remember also that the Principle of the “Good Samaritan Law” that is in practice in some parts of the world may protect you. I say this because the world is now a global village.
Truly, it is possible that in the process of rendering help, law enforcement agents may meet one. If this happens, cooperate with them following the above recommendations, making sure that your responses are straight forward without giving room for suspicion. Do not attempt to be enraged against law enforcement agents. They may be provoked and this can complicate matters for you the helper and the casualty.
For the law enforcement officer, I encourage you to be objective while enforcing the law, especially in an emergency situation such as Road Traffic Accident (RTA). Priority must be given to the casualty who may die if nothing is done to help urgently. This will give you a better reputation.