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Singapore

Former food delivery rider fined for colliding into cyclist while using phone

Former food delivery rider fined for colliding into cyclist while using phone

File photo of a man cycling along a park connector in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: A food delivery rider cycling on a park connector at night was looking at his mobile phone and failed to notice a 57-year-old cyclist in front.

He collided into the back of the victim, who was also using his phone, causing him to fall over and fracture his elbow.

Heer Weng Kong, 28, was fined S$2,000 by a court on Friday (Apr 30) for causing hurt by a negligent act that endangers human life.

The court heard that Heer, a delivery rider for GrabFood at the time, was on his bicycle on a park connector in Bukit Batok West Avenue 5 at about 10.15pm on Apr 4 last year.

As he was using his phone while cycling, he failed to notice the victim, a 57-year-old man cycling in front of him who was also using his phone.

When Heer noticed the victim, he tried to apply his brakes and avoid him but did not manage to stop. His bicycle collided into the back of the victim's bicycle, and the older man fell down.

Heer helped him and stayed with him until an ambulance came to take the victim to hospital. A medical report stated that the victim suffered a fracture of his right elbow as well as abrasions on his elbow and knee. He was given 45 days of hospitalisation leave.

Heer has given him S$505 as compensation.

The prosecutor asked for a fine of S$2,500, while defence lawyer Jerome Tan asked for a maximum fine of S$1,000.

Mr Tan said his client is remorseful and deeply regrets causing hurt to the victim.

"Firstly, the collision occurred along the park connector at 10.17pm. This is at night and of course visibility and lighting is poor," he said.

The lawyer also said that as a GrabFood delivery rider, Heer depended on his phone for his job.

"Unfortunately, it is the nature of his work to look at his phone and it's very unfortunate that ... it resulted in the collision," he said.

He added that Heer is now self-employed as a photographer and has been hit hard by the pandemic. Heer is normally law-abiding and this incident was an anomaly, his lawyer added.

The judge found that the harm caused in this case "is not insignificant" but agreed that Heer's culpability is low. She considered his plea of guilt and compensation given in sentencing him to a S$2,000 fine. She allowed Heer to pay his fine in instalments by end-July.

For causing hurt by a negligent act endangering human life, he could have been jailed up to six months, fined up to S$2,500, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(cy)

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