Man in court for driving against traffic

Ng is out on bail and will be back in court on Feb 16. He is accused of committing the offence on Jan 5.
Ng is out on bail and will be back in court on Feb 16. He is accused of committing the offence on Jan 5.

30-year-old charged with dangerous driving on AYE; lawyer says client has medical issues

A 30-year-old motorist was yesterday charged with dangerous driving for allegedly travelling against the flow of traffic on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) at around 1.40am on Jan 5.

His lawyer Luke Lee told District Judge Carol Ling that Brandon Ng Hai Chong is being treated for depression.

Mr Lee said his client had a medical condition, though he did not specify what, and has Asperger's syndrome, a disorder characterised by difficulties in social interaction.

Mr Lee told the court it is the fourth time he is representing Ng, who has been in jail and on probation before, but did not reveal details about the earlier cases.

Dressed in a bright blue polo T-shirt, Ng appeared calm before the judge. He is out on bail of $10,000 and will be back in court on Feb 16.

Ng is not the only person accused of driving against the flow of traffic in recent weeks, with the Traffic Police receiving reports of seven such cases committed between Dec 28 and Jan 7.

Most of the incidents arise from mistakes, and police are looking into preventive measures such as using technology to detect a car that has gone the wrong way, as well as making road markings and signs more visible in high-risk areas.

Anyone caught wilfully driving against traffic will be dealt with severely, Traffic Police Commander Sam Tee said on Wednesday.

In the most serious case, businessman Lim Chai Heng, 53, was charged with culpable homicide on Jan 3.

Lim is alleged to have caused the death of Mr Liong Kuo Hua, 37, by driving his Mercedes-Benz against the flow of traffic along the AYE at about 8am on Dec 19, resulting in it hitting Mr Liong's vehicle.

Lim will be back in court on Jan 24 and, if convicted of culpable homicide, can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

First-time offenders convicted of dangerous driving can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $3,000. Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2017, with the headline 'Man in court for driving against traffic'. Print Edition | Subscribe