Cabby gets maximum $5k fine and ban for causing grievous hurt to cyclist

Pui Keng Tiong mistakenly stepped on the accelerator, instead of the brake pedal, while driving towards a downhill slope along Boon Lay Way, a court heard.
Pui Keng Tiong mistakenly stepped on the accelerator, instead of the brake pedal, while driving towards a downhill slope along Boon Lay Way, a court heard.ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A taxi driver, whose cab mounted a kerb and hit a cyclist, was given the maximum $5,000 fine and banned from driving for two years.

The accident happened on Feb 27 last year after Pui Keng Tiong mistakenly stepped on the accelerator, instead of the brake pedal, while driving towards a downhill slope along Boon Lay Way, a court heard.

After Pui's taxi hit the rear of a car, the 70-year-old steered his vehicle to the left, mounted a kerb and collided into Mr Wang Qiang, 36, who was cycling along the pavement. Mr Wang suffered a spinal fracture and head injury.

He was taken to National University Hospital where he underwent surgery and was discharged 13 days later.

Pui was sentenced on Friday (April 21) after he admitted to grievously hurting the cyclist by failing to maintain proper control over his vehicle.

A second charge of causing hurt to the driver and passenger of a second car by doing an act so negligently as to endanger the personal safety of others was taken into consideration in sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Sum Yun Qian said Pui had just dropped off a passenger at the taxi stand infront of Jurong Point that afternoon before the accident.

His taxi also hit a tree and an electrical box. The impact caused the tree branch to break and fall onto the second car.

In his written mitigation plea, Pui pleaded for a light sentence.

He said he had not been able to sleep well since the accident, his first serious incident in 30 years of driving a cab. He said he was remorseful and apologetic, and had been supporting his family since young.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing grievous hurt by doing an act so negligently as to endanger the personal safety of others.

Correction note: This story has been edited to correct the number of years the taxi driver has been banned from driving to two years. We are sorry for the error.