Man gets four weeks' jail for road rage

Malvinder was allowed to defer sentence until March 1 and is out on $10,000 bail.
Malvinder was allowed to defer sentence until March 1 and is out on $10,000 bail.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Unhappy with a motorist for overtaking his car, a self-employed man stopped and started his car a few times along the way for no apparent reason, just to obstruct the other driver.

And this went on for nearly an hour from Potong Pasir Avenue 3 to Potong Pasir Avenue 1.

The self-employed man Malvinder Singh Hari Singh followed the other man, Mr Neo Poh Wee, after the latter had parked his car and punched and slapped him.

On Tuesday (Feb 16), Malvinder Singh was jailed for four weeks for hurting Mr Neo.

The court heard that on Aug 10 in 2015, the two motorists were travelling along Meyappa Chettiar Road with their respective families.

At the traffic light junction at Potong Pasir Avenue 2, Mr Neo Poh Wee's car was directly behind Malvinder's car.

When the lights turned green, they moved off and went straight along Potong Pasir Avenue 3. Malvinder, 39, took the right lane and Mr Neo, the left.

Mr Neo's car soon went ahead of Malvinider's car, which was travelling at about 10kmh to 15kmh.

Near St Andrew's Secondary School, Mr Neo noticed that Malvinder's car had suddenly sped up to be travelling alongside his.

Malvinder's car overtook Mr Neo's car shortly before the two lanes merged into one.

Subsequently, Malvinder's car sped up and suddenly stopped at a zebra crossing for a few seconds even though there were no pedestrians.

Mr Neo then sounded his horn. Malvinder's car did not move until 10 to 15 seconds later, and again stopped his car after travelling about 10 to 15m.

Mr Neo sounded his horn and decided to overtake Malvinder's car. He continued driving along Potong Pasir Avenue 3 until he reached the junction of Potong Pasir Avenue 1.

As the victim was getting ready to turn left onto Potong Pasir Avenue 1, Malvinder suddenly pulled up his car to Mr Neo's right. Mr Neo let him move first.

Between the junction and a roundabout on Potong Pasir Avenue 1, a distance of about 170m, Malvinder repeatedly stopped his car, obstructing Mr Neo's car.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yanying said that each time, Malvinder would drive his car a short distance, suddenly brake and remain stationary for a while before moving off again. When Mr Neo sounded his horn at him, Malvinder got out of his car and went to Mr Neo's car in an aggressive manner, gesturing at Mr Neo to come out but the latter refused to be engaged by him.

After Mr Neo had parked his car, he and his family walked towards the lift lobby of the block.

Mr Neo, who was carrying his daughter, saw Malvinder check his car and run towards him. Malvinder used his hand to block the lift door from closing when the family got in, and shouted in Hokkien: "Potong Pasir is not your road!''.

Mr Neo told Malvinder his child was sick and needed to take her medication. But this cut no ice with Malvinder. When Mr Neo said he would report to the police and reached for his mobile phone, Malvinder shoved Mr Neo in the shoulder and slapped him on the cheek.

Four men saw the assault. One of them, Mr Tay Kiang Seng, 55, asked Malvinder why he was assaulting someone who was carrying a child.

Mr Neo took the opportunity to close the lift door and proceed up. Malvinder shouted at the group and threw a punch at Mr Tay. Both men fell to the floor during a scuffle. Police arrived and broke up the scuffle.

Malvinder was allowed to defer sentence until March 1 and is out on $10,000 bail.

District Judge Eddy Tham said time and again, the Courts had sent out a strong message to road users not to take the law into their own hands no matter how aggrieved they might feel over the manner of driving by the other party.

"If violence is used, they can expect custodial sentence to be meted out. The accused had behaved in a thuggish and provocative manner, stopping his vehicle several times without good reason,'' he said.

The maximum penalty for causing hurt is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine.