Lorry driver jailed for causing death of motorcyclist

SINGAPORE - A lorry driver who caused a motorcyclist's death after underestimating the time he needed to make a right turn was jailed for two weeks on Wednesday and banned from driving for five years.

Sulaiman Osman, 50, saw Mr Abdul Halim Abdul Haq approaching from the opposite direction but decided to turn, even though the biker had right of way.

The 26-year-old could not stop in time and hit the back of the truck. He was flung off his motorcycle and died in hospital of his injuries the following day.

Sulaiman admitted causing death by a negligent act on June 4, at the signalised T-junction of Brickland Road by Choa Chu Kang Ave 3.

The court heard that at 12.20pm that day, he had slowed down but did not stop after entering the turning pocket on Brickland Road.

Sulaiman, who was making deliveries, did not see any other vehicles around Mr Abdul Halim's bike and thought he could make the right turn into Choa Chu Kang Ave 3 in time.

At the time of the accident, the road was wet from a drizzle.

Calling for a jail term of up to four weeks, Deputy Public Prosecutor Michael Quilindo said Sulaiman had misjudged the time needed for the manoeuvre. Mr Quilindo pointed out Sulaiman had not stopped even though the traffic lights were not in his favour.

Defence counsel T. U. Naidu said his client was remorseful and had made the misjudgment "inadvertently". Adding Sulaiman was married with three school-going children, he asked the court for not more than two weeks' imprisonment.

Sulaiman could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.