Bus driver fined $5,000, banned four years for causing grievous hurt to 7 in accident

Malaysian Kumarevelu Velappan was fined $5,000 and banned from driving for four years after admitting to causing grievous hurt to seven passengers.
Malaysian Kumarevelu Velappan was fined $5,000 and banned from driving for four years after admitting to causing grievous hurt to seven passengers. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An SMRT bus driver was trying to reach a logbook which had dropped onto his right leg when he suddenly realised that his bus was approaching the rear of an SBS Transit bus, a court heard.

Malaysian Kumaravelu Velappan, 40, wanted to step on his brake pedal but accidentally stepped on the accelerator, causing the bus to surge forward and hit the back of the other bus.

The incident happened at the junction of Bedok North Avenue 1 and Bedok North Drive on March 27 last year.

On Wednesday (Aug 31), Kumaravelu was fined $5,000 and banned from driving for four years after admitting to causing grievous hurt to seven passengers - three in the SBS Transit and four in his bus - by doing a negligent act.

The court heard that Kumarevelu was driving the bus along Bedok North Avenue 1 behind the SBS Transit bus. They were approaching the junction to turn into Bedok Interchange.

Just then, Kumaravelu's vehicle logbook dropped onto his right leg. He bent down and tried to reach for it but could not. He suddenly realised that his bus was approaching the SBS Transit bus, which was waiting in line to make a right turn into the interchange.

As a result of the collision, seven passengers were injured. One of them, who was seated at the back of the SBS Transit bus, had spinal injuries and underwent an operation. He was unable to follow his ordinary pursuits for 20 days.

In mitigation, Kumaravelu, who has two young children, said he was the sole breadwinner. He said he was sorry and remorseful, and apologised to all the victims.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.