Road Safety Justice: Taxi Driver Faces Maximum Fine and Driving Ban for Striking Cyclist at Zebra Crossing

Road Safety Justice: Taxi Driver Faces Maximum Fine and Driving Ban for Striking Cyclist at Zebra Crossing

"Road Safety Alert: Taxi Driver Faces Maximum Penalty and Driving Ban for Injuring Cyclist at Zebra Crossing"

In a recent case in Singapore, a 68-year-old taxi driver, Yew Kai Leong, faced legal consequences for failing to keep a proper lookout at a zebra crossing, resulting in a collision with a cyclist. The incident occurred on January 22, 2020, along the Yishun Avenue 1 slip road. Yew was handed a maximum fine of S$2,500 and a 12-month driving disqualification after pleading guilty to causing harm to another person by driving, as per the Road Traffic Act.

Deputy Principal Judge Luke Tan, emphasizing Yew's history of road offenses, labeled him a "menace to road users" during the sentencing. Despite Yew avoiding a jail term, the severity of the penalty highlights the gravity of the offense. The court learned that Mr. Patrick Quek, the cyclist, suffered fractures and other injuries due to the collision.

On the day of the incident, Mr. Quek and his friend approached a two-lane zebra crossing, where they observed a white vehicle stopping at the left lane. Assuming it was safe, Mr. Chung Meng Whatt cycled across. However, as Yew approached the zebra crossing on the right lane, he failed to maintain a proper lookout and collided with Mr. Quek, who had the right of way.

Mr. Quek, flung into the air upon impact, landed approximately 4 meters from Yew's taxi. Despite being entitled to cross at the designated zebra crossing, Mr. Quek sustained multiple injuries, including fractures to his pelvis and lower spine. The accident led to a week-long hospitalization, 22 days of medical leave, and ongoing outpatient care.

In delivering the sentence, Deputy Principal Judge Tan expressed the seriousness of the incident occurring at a zebra crossing, emphasizing the need for responsible driving behavior, particularly in areas prioritized for pedestrian safety. The case serves as a stark reminder of the legal consequences for negligence on the road, particularly when it endangers vulnerable road users.

In a stern admonition, the judge addressed Yew Kai Leong, the seasoned taxi driver involved in the zebra crossing incident, highlighting his experience and the inherent responsibility that comes with it. "You are a taxi driver of some years, so you should know the very high possibility of people crossing at the zebra crossing, especially when the white car has already stopped," the judge emphasized, underscoring the driver's lapse in judgment.

The judge further pointed to Yew's "checkered" driving history, citing past convictions for speeding, inconsiderate driving, parking offenses, and careless driving. Characterizing Yew as a "menace to road users" and a threat to both himself and others, the judge stopped short of imposing imprisonment but opted for the maximum penalty available. "In short, you are a menace to road users and a danger to others as well as yourself, but all things considered, I won't impose imprisonment but will impose the maximum fine of S$2,500 and a disqualification of 12 months, and I would say you should count yourself lucky," the judge declared.

For the offense of causing harm to another person by driving, Yew faced the possibility of imprisonment for up to 12 months or a fine of S$2,500, or a combination of both. The judge's stern words and the consequential penalties underscore the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the need for responsible driving behavior and accountability, particularly for those entrusted with public transportation duties.

In conclusion, the judge's unequivocal condemnation of Yew Kai Leong, the taxi driver involved in the zebra crossing incident, reflects the severity of the situation. Emphasizing Yew's extensive driving experience and the accompanying responsibility, the judge admonished him for failing to exercise due caution at a zebra crossing, a basic expectation for someone in his profession.

The judge's reference to Yew's "checkered" driving record, marked by past convictions for various offenses, painted a grim picture of a driver deemed a "menace to road users" and a danger to both himself and others. While stopping short of imprisonment, the judge imposed the maximum fine of S$2,500 and a 12-month driving disqualification, underscoring the gravity of Yew's actions.

This stern judgment serves as a stark reminder of the legal consequences that accompany negligence on the road, especially for those entrusted with public transportation duties. The decision reflects a commitment to road safety and accountability, signaling that repeated offenses and disregard for the safety of others will not be tolerated. Yew's stroke of luck in avoiding imprisonment serves as a sobering lesson, urging drivers to prioritize responsible and conscientious behavior behind the wheel.