A polytechnic student was given a two-week short detention order yesterday after knocking into a pedestrian while riding an e-scooter, causing her to suffer severe brain injuries.
This means Nicholas Ting Nai Jie will have to serve a brief stint behind bars but will not have a criminal record after he is released. He was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
Mother-of-three Ang Liu Kiow, 55, was left in a coma for a month and her husband told The Straits Times in a subsequent interview that the housewife can no longer remember the past or express herself properly.
Ting, who turned 19 on Sunday, pleaded guilty last month to causing grievous hurt to Madam Ang while riding his e-scooter in a negligent manner.
The court heard that the 14kg device cost $1,600, and his father had bought it in July 2016. On Sept 17 that year, Ting had his girlfriend with him on the e-scooter as they made their way together to Pasir Ris East Community Club. The instruction manual of his e-scooter had warned against riding with a pillion passenger, but he ignored it.
The teenager was travelling at about 15kmh on a footpath along Pasir Ris Drive 1 when he approached a bus stop. The court heard that he failed to keep a proper lookout and did not reduce his speed or sound his horn even though there were pedestrians in the vicinity. When Madam Ang stepped onto the footpath in front of the bus stop, Ting braked, but it was too late.
Madam Ang Liu Kiow's medical fees exceeded this figure. After subsidies and an insurance payout, her out-of-pocket expenses were $2,470 as of last August.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok said: "The e-scooter impacted the left side of the victim, causing her to fall and hit her head on the ground."
Ting and his girlfriend remained at the scene and alerted the police. An ambulance took Madam Ang to Changi General Hospital, where she was found to be bleeding in her brain.
The court heard that her medical, hospitalisation and therapy fees totalled more than $107,000. After government subsidies and an insurance payout, her out-of-pocket expenses were $2,470 as of last August.
On May 1 this year, new laws governing the use of personal mobility devices such as e-scooters were introduced. As part of the Active Mobility Act, power-assisted bicycles are not allowed on footpaths, while e-scooters are banned on public roads. The speed limits are 15kmh on footpaths and 25kmh on park connectors and shared paths.
First-time offenders who flout the usage rules and speed limits may be fined up to $1,000 or jailed up to three months, or both.
For causing grievous hurt due to negligence, Ting could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.