Proposed law would hold you accountable for not helping strangers in emergencies

Proposed law would hold you accountable for not helping strangers in emergencies (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) If you fail to help a stranger in a criminal or emergency situation, should you be held accountable by law?

One Utah law maker believes you should be and that’s why Rep. Brian King (D) Salt Lake City, is sponsoring House Bill 125 -- The Duty to assist in an emergency bill.

“This moral value that I think we are legislating is to enhance the likelihood that public health and public safety are increased,” King said to 2News. “It can be a simple act it doesn’t mean acting in a way to put you at risk. It doesn’t mean acting where there is a threat to serious bodily harm.”

H.B. 125 was scheduled to be debating in the House judiciary Standing Committee on Tuesday afternoon, but was postponed for Wednesday afternoon, because the bill before took longer than expected.

The inspiration behind the bill came from University of Utah law professor Amos Guiora who’s family history with the Holocaust, where his grandparents were killed and his parents went into hiding, has made him a fighter for not being an idle bystander. He believes people have an obligation to help.

“I think turning away absolutely should be a crime,” Guiora said. “I genuinely believe that the bystander decision, it’s a decision not to intervene exacerbates victims harm.”

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending