A 19-year-old was sentenced by the State Court with nine weeks of imprisonment on Tuesday (6 February) for running a red light and hitting an elderly which lead to the death of the man.
The case is believed to be the first case here involving a cyclist causing a fatal accident.
On 13 April 2017, Khairul Hairuman was riding a bicycle without working brakes along the two-lane Lorong Ah Soo road in heavy traffic at 5.15 pm when he noticed that the traffic light was red. He ran over the light despite his view being blocked by a bus in the left lane and decided to ride between the lanes to cross the pedestrian crossing.
His bicycle then ran into Mr Tong Cheng Poh, 73, who had right of way on the pedestrian crossing. Mr Tong passed away due to head injury the following day.
Khairul pleaded guilty to committing a rash act which caused the death of Mr Tong.
The prosecution sought four months’ jail for Khairul, saying the proliferation of personal mobility devices in recent times is likely to lead to more such cases.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lee Zu Zhao said, “A suitably deterrent signal has to be sent.”
He had told the court that Khairul’s bicycle had no brakes as investigation revealed that the bicycle was only able to brake at very slow speed and was not designed for use on roads or in public places.
Khairul had known that the rear brakes of his bicycle were not fixed and about a week before the accident. He had removed the faulty front brakes and not replaced them.
According to the court paper, Khairul was as a Deliveroo delivery rider. However, a spokesman for the food delivery firm stated that Khairul never worked with Deliveroo and was not carrying out a delivery when the incident occurred.
District Judge Eddy Tham said Khairul committed a clearly illegal and dangerous manoeuvre by running the red light.
He then calibrated Khiarul’s sentence after taking into account his clean record and the fact that a bicycle’s speed is much lower than that of a motorcycle, adding, “However , the tragic consequences of this case reveal that death can still be caused by the impact of a moving bicycle.”
The maximum penalty for causing death by a rash act is five years’ jail and a fine.