Technician gets three weeks and ban for causing cyclist's death by negligence

Alias Mustafa was sentenced to three weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years.
Alias Mustafa was sentenced to three weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A technician failed to keep a proper lookout while turning his van into a Housing Board carpark and hit an elderly cyclist, who later died.

Alias Mustafa, 54, who was convicted last year of causing death by negligence after a four-day trial, was on Wednesday (Jan 11) sentenced to three weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years .

But he is appealing. Bail of $10,000 was allowed.

Alias, who was driving a company van at the time, was convicted of causing the death of Mr Ong Ching Ping, 72, by negligence along Circuit Road on Sept 3, 2014.

He was negotiating a right turn into the carpark of Block 51 when his van hit Mr Ong who was cycling from the pavement onto the road at 7.38am that day.

The carpark is connected to Circuit Road by a two-lane slip road, comprising an entry lane and an exit lane.

Alias, the court heard, had disregarded traffic directional signs and was going against the flow of traffic.

The prosecution's case is that he failed to stop while turning into the slip road, had not seen the retiree till it was very late and braked only after the collision.

Its case is also that the van was moving at the point of impact but the defence's case is that the vehicle had come to a complete stop, and the bicycle had collided into the stationary van.

The impact from the collision caused Mr Ong to fall off his bicycle and hit his head on the road. He was pronounced dead in hospital 10 hours later.

In her address on sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said a sentence of four weeks' jail and five years' disqualification was warranted.

She said Alias' degree of negligence was higher as he had not stopped the vehicle at the time of the collision.

He also ought to have exercised greater care and responsibility as the van he was driving would be more destructive in accidents.

Alias, defended by Mr Ramesh Appoo and Ms Rajashree Rajan, could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death by negligence.