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5 days jail for PMD rider who collided into 6-year-old causing fractures, temporary hearing loss

The Independent logo The Independent 8/11/2019 Anna Maria
a man walking down a street next to a fence © The Independent Singapore

Singapore—A man who had been driving an e-scooter “speedily” and hit a 6-year-old boy in 2018 was sentenced to 5 days in jail on Thursday, November 7. The boy suffered from fractures and temporary hearing loss from the collision.

On April 12 of last year, at around 6:30 in the evening, 42-year-old Neo Wei Chia was riding his e-scooter on the Punggol Park Connector. Suddenly, a 6-year-old boy ran into his way, and although Mr Neo applied the brakes at once, he was unable to prevent a collision with the young boy, who he hit on the back.

The boy had been riding on a bicycle with his grandmother but lighted as they came near the entrance of the building where they live, Riversails Condominium. His grandmother, however, stayed on the bike.

TODAY reports that according to Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) R Arvindren, at the moment when the young boy ran along one side the park connector, Mr Neo was driving “speedily” on his electrical personal mobility device (PMD) on the other side of the park connector.

The DPP said that there were not many people in the area at that time and that the weather was clear.

The collision occurred when the young boy suddenly ran from one side of the park connector to the other, putting himself directly on the path were Mr Neo was riding his e-scooter.

The impact left both the boy and Mr Neo on the ground, with the boy bleeding from one of his ears. His grandmother quickly came to the scene of the accident.

Doctors at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where the boy was brought, treated him for the fractures and hearing loss he sustained, along with some cuts and abrasions.

Mr Neo, who stayed with the boy and his grandmother until the boy’s father came unto the scene, was brought to Changi General Hospital and was treated for abrasions on his knee, elbows, and fingers. He was given two days’ medical leave due to his injuries.

The 42-year-old man pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous hurt by a negligent act and was sentenced to five days of jail time. The maximum sentence for this offence could have meted him a fine of S$5,000, two years in jail, or both.

The TODAY report says that the Deputy Public Prosecutor disclosed to the court that Mr Neo had a number of unrelated offenses starting from twenty-five years ago, which included theft in dwelling and the consumption of drugs.

He asked for at least one week of jail time for Mr Neo, citing the rising number of PMD-related accidents of late, wherein these PMDs knocked “down hapless pedestrians or members of the public.”

DPP Arvindren said, “There is no doubt that there is an urgent need to make pedestrian paths safer for all users.”

According to Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun, riders of e-scooters need to be cautious and aware as they use their devices, especially in the presence of young children.

The lawyer of Mr Neo, K Jayakumar Naidu, had no objection to the jail time meted out to his client, even though he had said in mitigation that the boy had been the one who ran into his client’s path and that Mr Neo had not been speeding. /TISG

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