E-scooter rider who hit Taiwanese tourist outside MRT station found guilty

During the trial, Toh Zhiwei (above), who is represented by lawyer Peter Ong, testified that he had slowed down before the collision.
During the trial, Toh Zhiwei (above), who is represented by lawyer Peter Ong, testified that he had slowed down before the collision.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A Taiwanese tourist had just walked out of Chinatown MRT station when an e-scooter knocked into her right heel, causing her to fall and hit her head against the ground.

Madam Liang Yuan-Chia, 45, was taken to Singapore General Hospital and was found to have a minor head injury and strained buttocks.

She was later given two days of outpatient medical leave.

District Judge Mathew Joseph on Wednesday (July 24) found the Singaporean e-scooter rider, Toh Zhiwei, 35, guilty of riding a device in a rash manner, causing hurt to the tourist when it hit her.

Madam Liang had been looking at her mobile phone when she walked out of the MRT station with her husband and daughter around 3.50pm on Jan 26 last year.

The court heard that the ground was wet as it was raining.

She was walking slowly while still looking at the phone when Toh's e-scooter approached her from behind.

She fell after it hit her right heel, the court heard. According to Toh, he was then travelling at between 13kmh and 15kmh.

He stopped to help Madam Liang and also called for an ambulance.

 
 
 

Police received information about the incident from the Singapore Civil Defence Force soon after and officers arrested Toh later that day.

In her submissions, Assistant Public Prosecutor Lim Yu Hui stated that due to the wet floor and the number of people in the area that day, Toh should have dismounted and pushed his e-scooter.

The APP added: "Instead, he decided to ride the e-scooter even though he was fully aware of the risk of collision. He even increased his speed just before the collision even though there was a blind spot.

"This resulted in him being unable to stop the e-scooter when he saw the victim. He jumped off and tried to swerve the e-scooter in his bid to avoid the victim but he was unable to do so in time."

During the trial, Toh, who is represented by lawyer Peter Ong, testified that he had slowed down before the collision.

However, closed-circuit television footage of the incident did not capture him doing so, the court heard.

When queried, he claimed that it was difficult to see him slowing down due to the angle from which the clip was recorded.

The APP said this explanation was "illogical", adding: "If he had indeed slowed down... there is no reason why this was not captured by the footage. The only reason is that he simply did not do so."

Toh's case has been adjourned to Aug 6.

For causing hurt by performing a rash act, he can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.