Taxi driver jailed, banned from driving for 10 years for causing death of motorcyclist

Mohamed Ali has had several traffic infractions over the years.
Mohamed Ali has had several traffic infractions over the years.PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A taxi driver picked up three passengers along Newton Road on Christmas Day last year and made an illegal U-turn by cutting across the three-lane dual carriageway, and cut into the path of a motorcyclist.

The rider, who was on his way to meet his girlfriend after work, crashed into the taxi and was flung across the road. He died of multiple injuries on the spot.

On Wednesday (nov 11), Mohamed Ali Haji Osman, 67, was jailed for seven months and disqualified from driving for 10 years, which means he is unlikely to ever drive a taxi again unless the current age cap for taxi drivers is raised further.

He pleaded guilty to causing the death of security guard Ezol Khelni Ezol Kafli, 26, by doing a rash act at 10.34pm on Dec 25.

The court heard that the ComfortDelGro driver of more than 20 years picked up the three passengers outside L'Viv condominium along Newton Road towards Thomson Road that evening.

When told they wanted to go to River Valley Road, Mohamed Ali drove almost diagonally across the road to the rightmost lane towards an opening at the centre divider about 50m away to make an illegal U-turn.

He did this despite knowing that he was not authorised to make a U-turn as it was meant only for motorists driving along Newton Road towards Scotts Road. He also knew that he would be making the illegal U-turn against the flow of traffic, and that there was an authorised U-turn about 100m away from him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew who sought seven months' jail and 10 years' driving ban said this was an aggravated case of causing death by rash act.

He also pointed out that Mohamed Ali has had several traffic infractions over the years such as failing to conform to red traffic lights, inconsiderate driving, speeding, using mobile phone while driving and careless driving. He paid composition fines for all of them.

Mohamed Ali could have been jailed for up to five years and/or fined.