SBS driver fined $1,500 for negligent driving, passenger fell and suffered injuries

For causing hurt by negligent driving, an offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $2,500. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An SBS bus driver who failed to keep a safe distance between his vehicle and a car had to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.

The abrupt act caused a 60-year-old passenger to fall and suffer multiple fractures, injuries to her spine and possible post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ong Chuan Hai, 64, was on Thursday (Oct 7) fined $1,500 after he pleaded guilty to causing hurt by a negligent act.

The Singaporean was disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for two months.

The driver of the car, Tang Toh Pheow, 65, had also been charged with causing injuries to the passenger, Ms Indrani Govindasamy, by negligent driving. His case is pending.

The bus was travelling along Tampines Avenue 7 in the vicinity of Block 370 at around 5.30pm on May 30, 2019.

Tang, who was driving directly in front of the bus, turned on his car's hazard lights, indicating his intention to stop.

The court heard that he wanted to drop off his colleague near the bus stop.

Within seven seconds of signalling, his car came to a stop near the entrance of the bus bay.

Ong braked to avoid a collision, causing Ms Indrani, who was standing near the wheelchair zone of the bus, to lose balance and fall to the floor.

At the time of the accident, the weather conditions were fine and the traffic flow was heavy, according to the court documents.

Ms Indrani was taken to Changi General Hospital, where she was hospitalised from May 30 to June 11.

"By failing to keep a safe distance from the car, which was ahead of him, the accused had failed to exercise the caution incumbent upon him," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap in court on Thursday.

For causing hurt by negligent driving, an offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $2,500.

In another incident involving a passenger who fell in an SBS bus, a 68-year-old got up from his seat to alight when the driver applied the brakes, as a car purportedly cut into the vehicle's path in North Bridge Road on Sept 8 this year.

The grandfather, Mr Siah Keok Tiang, was thrown forward, said bus operator SBS Transit. He died on Sept 16 after a week-long struggle in hospital, suffering from a punctured lung, fractured spine and bleeding in the brain.

The 43-year-old car driver was arrested by the police for careless driving and causing grievous hurt.

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