Taxi driver gets 2 weeks' jail and 4-year driving ban for causing grievous hurt to pedestrian

Teo Kau Thia was charged with causing grievous hurt by being negligent and so endangering the personal safety of others.
Teo Kau Thia was charged with causing grievous hurt by being negligent and so endangering the personal safety of others.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - A taxi driver hit a couple along a pedestrian crossing at a road junction last July after failing to give way to them.

On Tuesday (March 15), Teo Kau Thia, 52, was sentenced to two weeks' jail and banned from driving for four years for causing grievous hurt to Mr Tan Kim Hock, 51, also a taxi driver, by being negligent and so endangering the personal safety of others.

A second charge, of hurting Mr Tan's wife, Madam Teo Hiok Pheng, 45, at the junction of Bukit Batok West Avenue 5 and Bukit Batok East Avenue 5 was considered during his sentencing.

Mr Tan suffered serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, and a fracture below his knee.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Star Chen Xinhui said that Teo was driving along Bukit Batok West Avenue 5 at about 3.20am on July 31 last year when he stopped to make a right turn into Bukit Batok East Avenue 5.

He saw the couple walking at the pedestrian crossing as the traffic light signal turned green in their favour. He thought they had already reached the middle of the road and so proceeded to turn.

However, the couple had walked just a metre or two across the road. Mr Tan saw the taxi and pushed his wife back with his hands. He was struck and taken to hospital where he was warded for three weeks.

He is still on medical leave, and has been unable to return to work due to his dizziness.

DPP Chen sought a jail term of one to two weeks' jail.

District Judge Salina Ishak said Teo was aware of the presence of the two pedestrians at the crossing when the light was in their favour, and yet, he had failed to give way to them.

As the pedestrians were at a signalised pedestrian crossing, Teo had a duty to ensure that they had crossed safely before he made the right turn, she said. She also noted the serious injuries suffered by the victim.

Teo was allowed to defer sentence until March 22. He could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

elena@sph.com.sg