Teen driver who caused car to overturn on road sentenced to reformative training

Koh Zhi Rong was sentenced to reformative training.
Koh Zhi Rong was sentenced to reformative training.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A teenager who drove a car dangerously on the road without a valid driving licence, causing it to overturn after it hit a public bus, and then fled from the accident scene, was on Monday (Feb 1) sentenced to reformative training.

Koh Zhi Rong, 19, was also disqualified from driving for 12 months from the date of his conviction on Jan 11.

Koh last month pleaded guilty to six traffic-related charges: driving without a licence, driving without insurance coverage, inconsiderate driving, dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident, and failing to render assistance after an accident.

He also admitted to two charges of harassment on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender.

Another count of harassment, as well as seven traffic-related charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

A district court heard that at about 1pm on Oct 6 last year, Koh was driving a car along Yishun Avenue 2, towards Lentor Avenue, when he abruptly swerved the car into the lane of an SBS bus service 85.

The car had been in the middle lane of the three-lane road, while the bus was on the left-most lane of the road.

The car swiped the front right side of the bus, flipped, and ended up overturned on a grass verge.

As a result of the accident, the bus driver applied his brakes immediately. Two elderly female passengers, aged 60 and 79, fell and were injured. They were taken to hospital.

The older passenger sustained swelling on her right cheek and bruising on her left hip, while the other passenger had bruising on her left ribs.

Koh managed to get out of the car and fled the scene.

About half an hour before the accident, he had also got into another accident along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, towards Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

He tried to squeeze the car in between two other cars that had stopped on adjacent lanes, at a red traffic light at a pedestrian crossing in front of Ang Mo Kio MRT station.

As a result, he hit the right side view mirror of another car, and it fell off.

Koh then drove off, ignoring the red traffic light signal.

The court also heard that on Sept 29 last year, Koh splashed red paint on a unit at Block 630 Senja Road and used black indelible ink to write a message on the common corridor wall outside the unit.

On Oct 17 that year, he also used a bicycle chain to lock the gate of a unit at Block 16 Hougang Avenue 3, before splashing red paint on the door of the unit.

Police officers spotted him later, but he ran away while being questioned. He was arrested after a chase and a short struggle.

He later admitted to his offences.

For harassment on behalf of a loanshark, Koh could have been jailed for up to five years, fined up to $50,000 and caned up to six strokes.

For driving without a licence, he could have been jailed up to three months or fined up to $1,000. The penalty for driving without insurance is up to three months' jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

For inconsiderate driving, he could have been jailed up to six months and fined $1,000. For dangerous driving, he could have been jailed up to 12 months and fined $3,000.

The penalty for failing to stop after an accident is up to three months' jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The punishment for failing to report an accident within 24 hours, and for failing to render assistance after an accident, is up to three months' jail or a fine of up to $1,000.