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Bus driver gets fine, driving ban for causing chain collision at interchange that injured 2 passengers

The chain collision injured two passengers, with shards from a shattered bus window embedded in a woman's foot.

Bus driver gets fine, driving ban for causing chain collision at interchange that injured 2 passengers

Screengrab from Google Street View of Pasir Ris Bus Interchange.

SINGAPORE: While reversing his bus at an interchange, a driver failed to keep a proper lookout and collided with another bus.

The driver of the second bus lost control of his vehicle, stepped on the accelerator and collided with a third bus. Two passengers were injured as a result of the chain collision. One of them had a piece of glass wedged in her toe.

SBS Transit bus driver Mah Jin Heng, 39, pleaded guilty on Tuesday (Dec 6) to one charge of a negligent act endangering human life.

He was fined S$2,500 and banned from driving for a year.

The court heard that Mah, a Malaysian, was at Pasir Ris Bus Interchange at about 10pm on Nov 27, 2021.

He boarded Bus 88, which was parked in its berth, and began reversing out of the lot. He focused his attention on the kerb on the right side of his bus and failed to keep a proper lookout for oncoming vehicles from the left.

The driver of Bus 17, which was behind at the time, saw Bus 88 reversing but thought that it would stop as Bus 17 had the right of way.

The rear end of Bus 88 collided with the left side of Bus 17. As a result, the driver of Bus 17 lost control of his vehicle and stepped on the accelerator.

In closed-circuit television footage played in court, Bus 17 could be seen lunging forward and colliding with a third bus, Bus 5.

A 57-year-old woman sitting on the lower deck of Bus 17 heard a loud bang and the window beside her seat shattered.

She fell to the floor when Bus 17 collided with Bus 5. Some pieces of shattered glass were embedded in her feet. She also had glass in her toe and suffered a lower back muscle strain as well as an accumulation of blood under the scalp in the back of her head.

A 22-year-old man who was on the upper deck of Bus 5 saw Bus 17 approaching. He stood up to get away from the window seat but was standing up when the two buses collided.

He fell from the impact and hit his lower back against one of the handles of a seat. He also injured his wrist as he was holding onto a pole during the collision.

The prosecutor sought a fine of S$2,500 and a driving ban of 12 months.

DRIVER ASKS TO VIEW FOOTAGE

Mah, who was unrepresented, said he wanted to view the footage from Bus 17 to assess the speed at which Bus 17 was travelling and to "find out where was the mistake I made".

However, he later withdrew his request. He apologised for the injuries caused and said he has since been extra careful and vigilant while driving.

He said he is the only caregiver for his elderly mother and has always been polite to passengers, receiving numerous commendation awards.

He added that he hopes to be given a chance to continue driving for a living in Singapore and asked the judge not to impose a driving ban.

The judge agreed with the prosecutor that a deterrent sentence was called for in light of the injuries suffered and the risks posed to passengers.

Source: CNA/ll9gs)

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