SINGAPORE - A motorist who was involved in a road incident with a taxi driver was sentenced to jail and a fine on Monday (Dec 4).
Mohammad Azfar Hashim was given one week's jail for driving rashly to endanger the personal safety of others.
Azfar, 33, admitted on Oct 31 to holding his car door open, putting his head out to look behind, and picking up and throwing an object while driving on the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) on Sept 24, 2015.
He was fined $600 for driving without reasonable consideration by abruptly changing lanes, causing a taxi driver to swerve right to avoid hitting his car at about 5.45pm that day.
The court was told that Azfar had been driving on the rightmost lane and was seemingly in a rush as he drove very close to the car in front of him on the PIE.
Both he and taxi driver Abdul Halim Haron, 45, were heading towards Changi Airport.
As Azfar wanted to take the exit to Tampines Avenue 2, he accelerated, overtook a car in the second lane and a motorcycle in the third lane.
He then squeezed his car into the third lane, just as Halim's taxi was trying to filter into the lane to take the same exit.
Halim was trying to move to the third lane when Azfar's car suddenly swerved past him. Halim swerved back to avoid a potential collision. He sounded his horn continuously at Azfar and drove next to Azfar. Both shouted at each other.
Azfar then began to decelerate and drove in a stop-start fashion.
He opened his car door and shouted at Halim. The door was opened in such a way that prevented Halim from overtaking his vehicle on the slip road.
Halim threw a white object at Azfar that bounced into the latter's car. Azfar picked it up and threw it back at Halim.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said Azfar was clearly not giving due attention to the road while driving as he had stuck his head out, and turned around to yell at Halim behind him.
Eventually, Halim managed to overtake Azfar's car. Azfar then stopped his car next to the taxi and an altercation ensued.
Both men shouted vulgarities at each other.
DPP Chong said that throughout their exchange, Azfar pointed aggressively at Halim and even followed him when he was walking back to his taxi.
When Azfar was standing close to Halim, Halim punched him once in the face, damaging his spectacles.
They took photographs of each other's vehicles.
As Halim tried to drive off, Azfar walked in front of the cab and tried to take more photographs. Halim continued to drive forward and Azfar punched the taxi's rear-view mirror as it went past him.
Azfar, who will begin his jail sentence on Dec 18, could have been fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed for up to six months for driving without consideration.
For the rash act, the maximum penalty is six months' jail and a $2,500 fine.
Halim's trial is scheduled to begin on Jan 3.