SINGAPORE – The chief executive of SBS Transit Downtown Line was fined $4,000 and disqualified from driving for five years after he failed to keep a proper look out while driving a car in February last year, resulting in a crash with a motorcycle.
The rider, Mr Hashim Hussein, 75, and his pillion, Ms Supariyah Salamat, 69, were both injured, with Ms Supariyah suffering multiple fractures.
On Monday (June 13), Alex Goei Beng Guan, 63, pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle without reasonable consideration to other road users, causing grievous hurt.
According to the SBS Transit website, Goei joined the company in 1985 and is now the head of rail operations and support.
The court heard that he was driving along Woodlands Road towards a slip road of Kranji Expressway, in the direction of Bukit Timah Expressway, at around noon on Feb 5 last year.
At the time, the weather was fine and the road was dry.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Siu Ming said: “However, in merging, the accused failed to keep a proper look out and give way to traffic. This resulted in a collision between the car and the motorcycle.”
The collision was captured on Goei’s in-car camera and the footage which was played in court showed the car filtering onto the slip road without stopping.
The motorcycle approached from the right, colliding with the car, which stopped at the side of the road shortly after the crash.
DPP Teo said Goei got out of the car, called an ambulance and waited with the victims until it arrived to take them to hospital.
Mr Hashim suffered abrasions while Ms Supariyah fractured her arm and dislocated her shoulder, among other injuries.
Goei made a voluntary compensation of $15,000 in total to the victims.
Seeking a maximum fine of $5,000 and disqualification from driving for five years, the DPP said Ms Supariyah’s injuries were complicated as her bones had shattered into many pieces. The DPP noted that Goei was cooperative.
She added: “Although no dangerous driving was exhibited, he failed to keep a proper look out and did not slow down. He didn’t register the presence of the motorcycle until (the collision occurred).”
Defence lawyer Wendell Wong urged the judge to impose a lower fine, adding that Goei stopped immediately after the collision and went to assist the victims.
He added that Goei was a faithful civil servant and that his line of sight was obstructed by the shadows created by the trees.
District Judge Salina Ishak said Goei should have kept a proper look out regardless of the shadows, adding that there was no valid reason given for her not to issue the minimum five-year disqualification from driving in this case.
Those who cause grievous hurt by driving a vehicle without reasonable consideration of others can be fined a maximum of $5,000 and jailed for up to two years.