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Jail for delivery rider who rode e-bike on footpath, caused elderly woman to fall

Jail for delivery rider who rode e-bike on footpath, caused elderly woman to fall

File photo for a power-assisted bicycle. (Photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: A man was jailed four days on Thursday (May 19) for riding his power-assisted bicycle on a footpath, causing an elderly woman to fall and fracture her shoulder.

S Davanand, 33, a part-time Deliveroo rider, pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt by a rash act that endangers the personal safety of others.

Another charge of riding the e-bike on a footpath was considered for sentencing.

On the afternoon of Mar 30, 2020, the victim, then 72, was walking along a footpath at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh to pick her granddaughter up from school.

At the same time, Davanand was riding his e-bike from the opposite direction on the footpath.

The e-bike weighed 20.05kg, which was slightly over the maximum permissible weight of 20kg.

Davanand was aware that there was high pedestrian traffic on the footpath as he saw a number of people picking children up from the primary school, said the prosecutor.

However, he continued to ride his e-bike on the footpath, going past the victim and failing to keep a safe distance from her.

This caused the victim's umbrella to become hooked to his e-bike, and she fell. Her jaw and right shoulder hit the ground, and she was dragged along the footpath for a short distance.

"The collision occurred so quickly that the victim did not know that she had been hit," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenny Yang.

Davanand stopped his e-bike and engaged the victim, before riding away.

A medical report dated May 12, 2020, showed a fracture on the woman's right shoulder.

She amassed more than S$17,000 in medical bills, of which Deliveroo reimbursed S$8,000. The victim paid about S$550 after insurance, for which Davanand compensated her.

Both prosecution and defence asked for a short jail term.

The prosecutor highlighted that Davanand was riding his e-bike on a crowded footpath during school dismissal hours.

He also said the footpath was marked by many pillars that would have made it even more dangerous to ride an e-bike nearby.

Defence lawyer Ashvin Hariharan said his client was riding the bicycle manually at the time, with no power assistance.

He asked the court to consider Davanand's full restitution of the victim's out-of-pocket expenses, and the signed letter of apology he gave to the victim.

He also argued that the e-bike was only slightly overweight by 50g, and that there was no evidence this resulted in more serious injuries.

District Judge Melissa Tan said she took into consideration the excess weight of the e-bike as well as Davanand's early plea of guilty and voluntary compensation for sentencing.

For committing a rash act that endangered the personal safety of others, Davanand could have been jailed up to one year, fined up to S$5,000 or both.

Source: CNA/dv(ac)


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