RSAF captain's bid to lower speeding fine rejected

When a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) captain was sentenced for speeding at 195kmh on May 8, he was not worried about the one-year driving disqualification.

Instead, Yang Chee Hwa wanted the district court to lower his maximum $1,000 fine, because it would have an adverse effect on his promotion prospects and performance bonuses.

But in the judgment released this week, District Judge John Ng said Yang should have to bear the consequences of his irresponsible act.

He said: "I could not justifiably order him to pay a fine of $999 for him to avoid the collateral consequences of his conviction and sentence. The maximum fine and one-year disqualification are also to serve as a general deterrence to other speedsters."

The Straits Times believes Yang does not intend to appeal to the High Court to lower the fine.

At 12.35am on Feb 3, Yang was caught hurtling along Lim Chu Kang Road towards Jalan Bahar at 195kmh - despite it having a limit of only 70kmh.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced two weeks ago.

"In the present case, the speed at which the vehicle was travelling at was the highest I have seen among the hundreds of speeding cases brought before me," the judgment stated.

The judge noted that the speed Yang was driving at was almost three times the road's speed limit. "It is not unreasonable or unfair to say that the accused was acting in a highly irresponsible manner by travelling at such an excessive speed.

"If a short term of imprisonment had been passed, it would not have been an excessive sentence."

However, the court decided against a prison term as Yang, who could have been jailed for three months, was a first offender and there was no accident.

In response to queries, the Ministry of Defence would say only: "Captain Yang is a regular serviceman with the RSAF. The RSAF takes a serious view of the incident and will take the necessary disciplinary action."

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