Taxi driver jailed 3 weeks, barred from driving for 5 years for causing pedestrian's death

On Friday (Dec 23), Go was jailed for three weeks and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for five years after pleading guilty to one charge of causing death by doing a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.
On Friday (Dec 23), Go was jailed for three weeks and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for five years after pleading guilty to one charge of causing death by doing a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.PHOTO: ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE - A taxi driver who failed to keep a proper lookout crashed into a pedestrian at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Serangoon North Avenue 1 earlier this year.

Go Soon Heng, 54, did not see Ms Tan Leh Ai, 39, who had the right of way.

Ms Tan was flung forward and landed on the road. She died in hospital the next day without regaining consciousness.

On Friday (Dec 23), Go was jailed for three weeks and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for five years after pleading guilty to one charge of causing death by doing a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.

A district court heard that Go was driving his SMRT taxi with a 23-year-old female passenger along Serangoon North Avenue 3 at about 10.10pm on March 25.

The light was green in his favour when he started to make a right turn into Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

He was aware that there were still three pedestrians crossing the road from his right, some distance away.

He looked to the left and, thinking that the crossing was clear, continued to make the right turn.

But the light was still green in the pedestrians' favour and they were still crossing the road.

Go crashed his taxi into Ms Tan. He felt an impact, but claimed that he did not see her.

A 27-year-old motorcyclist who was waiting at the junction claimed that Go's taxi was turning at a relatively fast speed. But Go claimed he had been travelling at 15 to 20kmh at the time.

Both the motorcyclist and Go's passenger did not hear the sound of brakes being applied before Go's taxi crashed into Ms Tan.

Ms Tan had a cardiac arrest en route to Tan Tock Seng hospital, where she arrived without a pulse and had to be resuscitated.

She sustained multiple skull fractures, and had bleeding and swelling of the brain. She died the next morning.

At the time of the accident the weather was fine, visibility was good and traffic flow was moderate.

Go's taxi was inspected and found to be without any inherent mechanical defect.

Under traffic rules, Go should have given way to Ms Tan at the signalised pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians have right of way, even if the lights for both vehicles and pedestrians are green.

The maximum punishment for causing the death of a person by a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide is two years' jail and a fine.