Man jailed 10 days and banned 3 years from driving for hitting jogger at zebra crossing

SINGAPORE - A motorist who failed to keep an eye out and hit a jogger on a zebra crossing was jailed for 10 days and banned from driving for three years on Thursday (Nov 30).

Bryane Kwok Wei Qiang, 26, who manages a printing company, was on the slip road on Republic Boulevard headed towards Republic Avenue on Aug 26, 2015, when he hit Mr Tay Chok Ghim, 40.

In passing sentence, District Judge Lim Tse Haw said Kwok's offence was serious.

He said the prudent thing for any driver to do when approaching a zebra crossing is to slow down and look out for pedestrians who may be walking or jogging across.

Although Kwok was not speeding, he was going fast enough to cause very serious injuries to the victim, who suffers from permanent neurological deficiencies, he added.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Si En told the court that Kwok was on the right lane of the two-lane slip road while another motorist, Mr Teoh Tee Hien, 57, was on the left.

On seeing Mr Tay jogging and about to enter the zebra crossing, Mr Teoh slowed down and stopped.

"As the accused drove up to the zebra crossing, he negligently failed to check if there were any pedestrian who was using the zebra crossing, and proceeded to drive across the zebra crossing without stopping at the stop line," said DPP Tan.

The front left portion of his car hit Mr Tay, who was thrown 1.5m.

Mr Tay was taken to Singapore General Hospital with multiple areas of brain injury and generalised brain swelling, among other injuries. He was at SGH for 28 days and was still in a coma when he was transferred to a high dependency unit at Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

He stayed at Mount Elizabeth for 116 days and was discharged on Jan 16, 2016.

Kwok claimed he did not see anyone at the zebra crossing. He also claimed that his view of the left side of the crossing had been blocked by a "big white SUV".

His lawyer, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, together with Ms Diana Ngiam, said in mitigation that Kwok was very sorry and apologised sincerely to the pedestrian and the court.

He said the entire incident had been extremely distressing for Kwok, who has not driven since.

He urged the court to consider a day's jail plus the maximum fine of $5,000 or a short detention order, which is community-based sentencing, instead of the two weeks sought by the prosecutor.

Kwok could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing grievous hurt through a negligent act.