Prosecutor seeks two weeks' jail for ex-bus driver

Kwa Ah Bah, 67, hit and killed a pedestrian in November last year while driving an off-service SBS Transit bus.
Kwa Ah Bah, 67, hit and killed a pedestrian in November last year while driving an off-service SBS Transit bus.

The nearest pedestrian crossing was about 300m away and a woman who decided not to use it tried to cross the three-lane Jalan Boon Lay - but with fatal consequences.

Kwa Ah Bah, meanwhile, was driving an off-service double-decker SBS Transit bus but he failed to keep a proper lookout and it ploughed into Ms Tan Meow Hiang, 46, killing her. The accident happened around 6.30am on Nov 8 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Senthilkumaran Sabapathy told the court the Malaysian woman was not jaywalking. He also said there was no pedestrian crossing or overhead bridge within 50m of the accident scene and that Kwa was driving a heavy vehicle.

Yesterday, he urged District Judge Ng Peng Hong to sentence Kwa, 67, to two weeks' jail and disqualify him from driving all classes of vehicles for five years.

The court heard that Kwa is no longer working for SBS Transit and he pleaded guilty in October to causing the Singapore permanent resident's death by negligent driving.

He was driving the bus on the extreme left lane towards Boon Lay Way when it hit Ms Tan.

An ambulance took her to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where she died of multiple injuries about two hours later.

Defence lawyer Simon Tan pleaded for his client to be fined and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles.

Mr Tan told the court that before the accident, Kwa was driving the bus, within the speed limit, from a depot in Jurong to Boon Lay Bus Interchange to start his shift.

He also said Kwa had a clean driving record before the tragedy and had worked for SBS Transit for more than 40 years.

The lawyer told the judge: "It is also noteworthy that there is a barrier erected along the middle of the central road divider, clearly with the intention of preventing or deterring pedestrians from crossing the road along that stretch as the road is wide and spans three lanes.

"It would be a hazard for any pedestrian to cross the stretch without using the designated road crossings."

Kwa is out on bail of $10,000 and is to be sentenced on Dec 13.

For causing a death by negligent driving, he can be jailed up to two years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2018, with the headline 'Prosecutor seeks two weeks' jail for ex-bus driver'. Print Edition | Subscribe