SINGAPORE: The 64-year-old male driver who was arrested for dangerous driving causing death in the Lucky Plaza accident also had his driving licence suspended immediately, police said.
In response to queries by CNA, police said on Tuesday (Jan 14) his licence was suspended with "immediate effect" upon his arrest, adding that investigations are still ongoing.
Two women were killed and four others injured in the accident on Dec 29 last year. All six women are domestic workers from the Philippines working in Singapore.
CCTV footage of the incident shows a car moving off from a drop-off point outside the Lucky Plaza apartment block along Nutmeg Road, before making a U-turn and accelerating onto a footpath.
The car then ploughed into a group of people, crashed through a railing and landed on a service road below leading out of the Lucky Plaza car park.
Under Section 47C of the Road Traffic Act, police can choose to immediately suspend the driving licence of a person being investigated in traffic incidents resulting in "serious injury or death to another person; or serious damage to any building or structure".
Police told CNA the decision to immediately suspend the licence would depend on Traffic Police investigations and findings, without elaborating further.
While lawyers CNA spoke with were unable to comment on the specifics of this case, they said several considerations would be made in such instances.
Sunil Sudheesan, who heads the criminal department at Quahe Woo and Palmer, said the police can opt for immediate suspension as a precautionary measure to "guard against any sort of repeat behaviour".
"I surmise that there are a number of factors the police may consider: The presence of any dangerous driving behaviour; the potential of any psychiatric factors; and death or damage obviously," he said.
In the serious traffic cases he has handled, Mr Sudheesan said it is more often than not that the police immediately suspended the suspect's driving licence.
"I don't mind because there won't be any re-offending before the verdict," he stated.
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According to lawyer Cory Wong of Invictus Law Corporation, an offender’s post-incident conduct and driving record would also be taken into account.
For instance, Mr Wong said a driver could have committed a lengthy string of traffic-related offences, with an additional offence deemed as "the straw which broke the camel's back".
"With such a terrible driving record, the authorities therefore may not be able to wait for the Court to disqualify the offender only upon conviction, which could potentially be after a few months of Court proceedings," he said.