Jail, driving ban for truck driver who caused death of cyclist

SINGAPORE - A truck driver was jailed for two weeks on Wednesday and banned from driving for five years after causing the death of a cyclist through a negligent act.

Chinese national Hao Jingqi, 36, failed to keep a proper lookout when making a left turn from Victoria Street onto Middle Road on July 18.

His tipper truck collided into Mr Mohamed Omar Abdul Rahman, who was cycling across the signalised crossing. The 75-year-old was run over by the front tire of the vehicle and died on the spot from multiple injuries.

The accident had happened in similar circumstances to one in January last year, when two young brothers died after their bicycle was hit by a cement mixer truck in Tampines, said the prosecution.

The court heard that in Hao's case, both the traffic light and pedestrian crossing sign were green, although the latter was blinking.

Hao, who worked as a driver for construction firm Koh Kock Leong Enterprise at the time, was moving the truck between two worksites.

Around 7.17pm that day, he made the turn after waiting for three pedestrians to move past his truck, but did not notice Mr Mohamed Omar, who rode his bike into the crossing without stopping. Hao stopped the truck shortly after the collision and got out to help the victim.

Passing sentence on Wednesday, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said the onus was on Hao to keep a look out for other road users.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Vincent Ong said, among other things, that Hao had failed to exercise sufficient care despite driving a heavy vehicle. He added the collision had happened at a signalised pedestrian crossing where the deceased had the right of way.

What had happened was "essentially the same" as last January's accident in Tampines, which involved two young brothers cycling across the road, Mr Ong said.

Munir Mohd Naim, the driver in that case, had also received a two-week jail term and five-year road ban.

For causing death by a negligent act, Hao could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.