Taxi driver jailed and banned for rashly causing cyclist's death

A taxi driver was jailed for three months and banned from driving for seven years after slamming into a cyclist causing his death.
A taxi driver was jailed for three months and banned from driving for seven years after slamming into a cyclist causing his death.PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A taxi driver who had been driving for about 12 hours dozed off and cut across the centre white line and slammed into a cyclist causing his death.

Mohammad Adzhar Ahmad, 39, was tired, sleepy and dreamy shortly before the accident along Mandai Road at 5.33am on July 14 last year.

On Monday (Aug 17), he was jailed for three months and banned from driving for seven years after admitting to causing the death of Mr Benjamin Paul Lawrance, 32, by a rash act.

He had encroached into the path of Mr Lawrance, who was travelling straight from the opposite direction. He fell asleep momentarily and caused the taxi to cut to the right across the centre continuous white line to travel against the flow of traffic.

A district court heard that Adzhar began driving the day before, from 2pm to 9pm. He took an hour-long break and resumed driving after that.

He felt very sleepy at 1.25am and pulled over at a bus stop along Stevens Road and had a nap. He continued driving about an hour later despite feeling tired, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap.

He was driving along Mandai Road towards Upper Thomson Road and felt tired while passing through Upper Seletar Reservoir. He wanted to endure it and head to SPC petrol kiosk to wash up so he decided to carry on driving.

Somewhere near the last bus stop before Nee Soon Flyover, he fell asleep momentarily, and caused the fatal accident.

Due to the impact, Mr Lawrance, an Australian, smashed into the taxi's windscreen. His chest was cut, resulting in a gaping laceration from the abdomen to the right chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly.

Adzhar's lawyer Amarick Gill said his client, a father of three, had last worked as a logistics assistant before he was laid off. He said Adzhar had been driving a taxi for four years without any serious consequences.

"He is very much depressed over the entire incident and pours out his deepest condolences to the family to the late Mr Lawrance Benjamin Paul," he said.

The maximum punishment for the offence is five years' jail and a fine.