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UAE lawyers want ‘Good Samaritans’ protected

AL AIN // Lawyers are calling for a “Good Samaritan” law to protect people who help out in emergencies from prosecution.

Their call comes as a young Emirati fears he will be charged for pulling injured girls from a flipped car last month.

Mohammed Al Nuaimi, 18, rushed to help the six young women, one of whom was pregnant, from the car in Al Ain.

He and other passers-by pulled four girls from the car, then help-ed the pregnant women out after being told by police to do nothing but wait for the ambulance to arrive.

“I cannot just stop and wait for an ambulance to come if I see someone injured, screaming for help. No one would,” Mr Al Nuaimi said.

Under a Good Samaritan law, he and the others would be legally covered if something had happened to any of those they were trying to help on August 5.

Emirati lawyer Hadiya Hamad said: “I do believe that a Good Samaritan law would encourage people to lend a helping hand easily, without any hesitation.”

And Ms Hamad speaks from experience, after she and her son were injured in a car accident.

“I injured my leg and my son was in a bad shape too,” she said. “I waited so long for the ambulance to arrive.

“I later gave up and called my brother for immediate help. My brother was sued for speeding and driving recklessly on his way to me.”

Col Jamal Al Ameri, spokesman for Abu Dhabi traffic police, said it was an offence to not immediately contact police, and another to provide assistance without being trained in first aid.

But Mr Al Nuaimi said that, given the same circumstances, he would probably risk prosecution again.

“I was on Khalid bin Sultan Street and I was driving at a low speed, around 60kph, when I noticed that there was a car driving at a high speed on the opposite road,” he said.

“I kept driving but I checked my rear-view mirror and saw the car flip in the air.”

He pulled over to the side of the road and went to see if anyone had been injured.

“The car was on its side and I could hear a woman screaming inside. I couldn’t think clearly or stop to call for help. My first instinct was to see if anyone was injured and help.”

Another passer-by also stopped to offer assistance.

“We went together and looked at the windows,” Mr Al Nuaimi said. “One was broken and we had a quick peek inside of the car. When we turned around we noticed that people started to come and in no time, a crowd had formed.”

One of the passengers, he said, was a girl aged 15.

“We later discovered that there were six girls and one of them was pregnant. We asked this girl if it was OK to pull her out and she said: ‘Yes please. Pull me out’.”

Mr Al Nuaimi said they had pulled out four of the trapped girls by the time police arrived.

“An Egyptian man offered to help and pulled the 15-year-old girl out. And we pulled out three girls but two were still trapped inside.

“The policeman just told us not to do anything and that an ambulance was on its way, but we had already rescued four girls and we couldn’t not rescue the rest.”

So Mr Al Nuaimi and another Emirati broke the window to rescue the pregnant driver.

He now fears he will punished for not obeying police orders.

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(via The National)