Cyclist fined $5,600 for punching driver of lorry that overtook him

Jeffery Todd Martin stopped his bicycle in the middle of the lane in front of the lorry, in a road rage incident in 2019.
Jeffery Todd Martin stopped his bicycle in the middle of the lane in front of the lorry, in a road rage incident in 2019.

A cyclist who punched a lorry driver in a road rage incident was fined $5,600 yesterday.

Jeffery Todd Martin, 57, a Canadian and a Singapore permanent resident, pleaded guilty to one count each of voluntarily causing hurt and riding his bicycle without due regard for the safety of others.

At about 10.20am on Feb 24, 2019, Martin was cycling in Jalan Eunos when a lorry overtook him.

He later overtook the lorry, pointing at the driver as he did so, and stopped in the middle of the lane in front of the vehicle.

This caused the lorry to stop amid moving traffic.

Martin got off his bike and hit the driver's window, hurling vulgarities at the driver as he did so.

The lorry driver, Chinese national Zhang Ping, 33, then moved his vehicle sharply towards Martin, forcing him to step away.

Zhang alighted from the lorry, holding an orange flask as he approached Martin.

Once confronted, Martin punched him in the face, causing Zhang to fall.

Martin later cycled away as Zhang remained in a daze sitting on the road.

Zhang suffered cuts on his lips as a result of the punch, and was given medical leave for two days.

He was previously dealt with, and was jailed for a week for one count of a rash act endangering others.

A 30-second video of the incident went viral after the incident in 2019, and Zhang was arrested within 48 hours.

The same video was played in court yesterday.

After playing the video for the court, Deputy Public Prosecutor Emily Koh said the prosecution would not be pushing for a custodial sentence, as the attack was one of low harm and culpability.

District Judge Brenda Tan noted that prior to the punch, it was Zhang who had come out from the vehicle to confront Martin.

She said that while the custodial threshold had not been crossed, a high fine was warranted.

For voluntarily causing hurt, Martin could have been jailed for up to two years on top of the maximum $5,000 fine he received for the charge.

For not riding his bicycle in an orderly manner with due regard for the safety of others, he could have been jailed for up to three months and fined up to $1,000.

David Sun

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2021, with the headline 'Cyclist fined $5,600 for punching driver of lorry that overtook him'. Subscribe