Cabby fined, banned over death of pedestrian, 82

Tan's negligence caused the death of an elderly pedestrian and he was fined $7,000 and banned from driving for three years.
Tan's negligence caused the death of an elderly pedestrian and he was fined $7,000 and banned from driving for three years.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

He failed to keep proper lookout; DPP said some contributory negligence on victim's part

A taxi driver whose negligence caused the death of an elderly pedestrian was fined $7,000 and banned from driving for three years yesterday.

Tan Hian Kwee, 54, admitted failing to keep a proper lookout while travelling on the extreme right lane of Hougang Avenue 10, and hitting 82-year-old Goh Lee Khen alias Goh Lay Keng on Nov 18 last year.

She died from pneumonia following multiple injuries about three weeks later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Houston Johannus said Tan was driving within the 50kmh speed limit at all times on the right of the dual carriageway that evening.

At one point, while Tan took a momentary look at the taxi's rear-view mirror, Madam Goh stepped off the centre divider and crossed the road at a slow walking pace about three car lengths in front of the cab.

Tan failed to keep a proper lookout for Madam Goh, who was wearing dark clothing, and did not slow down further as he approached her.

The court heard in mitigation that Tan visited Madam Goh in hospital almost every day at lunchtime to show his concern. His lawyer Patrick Chow said his client had shown remorse, is a 'responsible and honourable' person, and had been driving for almost 20 years with hardly any accident.

The DPP said Madam Goh had failed to check whether there was oncoming traffic and was looking straight ahead as she crossed the road. When Tan looked to the front again and saw Madam Goh, he jammed on his brakes but could not stop in time.

Madam Goh was hit by the taxi and was flung about 1m onto the road.

Tan called the police. Madam Goh was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where she died on Dec 9.

The court heard in mitigation that Tan visited Madam Goh in hospital almost every day at lunchtime to show his concern.

His lawyer Patrick Chow said his client had shown remorse, is a "responsible and honourable" person, and had been driving for almost 20 years with hardly any accident.

The DPP, who sought a fine of $7,000 to $8,000 plus disqualification of three to four years, told District Judge Ng Peng Hong that there was some element of contributory negligence on the part of Madam Goh.

Tan could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death through a negligent act.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2016, with the headline 'Cabby fined, banned over death of pedestrian, 82'. Print Edition | Subscribe