Ex-taxi driver jailed and banned for causing cyclist's death along Seletar Expressway

Lim Poh Guan was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving for five years.
Lim Poh Guan was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving for five years.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - While abruptly changing lanes from the rightmost to the centre lane of an expressway, a taxi driver failed to check if there were any vehicles on the centre lane, and hit a motorcycle.

The rider fell onto the leftmost lane and was run over by a lorry.

On Thursday (April 27), Lim Poh Guan, 58, was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving for five years for negligently causing the death of Malaysian Kanabathi S. Manokaran, 28, along Seletar Expressway towards the direction of Central Expressway on Aug 15 last year. He pleaded guilty.

Mr Kanabathi, who was employed by SBS Transit, suffered serious injuries and was conveyed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died about five hours later at 7.30pm from multiple injuries.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhuo Wenzhao had sought a sentence of three to five weeks' jail and a five-year disqualification period.

He said this was not a case where Lim had to make a sudden change of lane; he had ample time to check his blind spot, but he failed to do so.

Lim's lawyer Yeo Wei Cheang said in his mitigation plea that his client had been a taxi driver for almost 18 years, and had received a driving award given to employees who provide excellent service and maintain a clean driving record.

He said Lim had given up his job as a cabby and has taken a new job as a food stall operator.

"This shows his remorse and his genuine attempt to avoid such incidents in future,'' he said.

Mr Yeo also told District Judge Low Wee Ping that his client was well-rested when he drove after his lunch break that day. He asked that a fine be imposed.

Lim could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death through his negligence.