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Elderly man fined, banned from driving for running over 85-year-old woman at Raffles Town Club

Elderly man fined, banned from driving for running over 85-year-old woman at Raffles Town Club

Screengrab from Google Street View of Raffles Town Club.

SINGAPORE: A 71-year-old man who was driving slowly along the driveway at Raffles Town Club failed to notice an 85-year-old pedestrian who was looking at her phone.

His car hit her thigh and she fell over, but he could not apply the brakes in time and her legs were run over. 

Pek Teong Tat was fined S$2,000 and banned from driving for nine months on Monday (Sep 20). He pleaded guilty to one charge of a negligent act endangering human life by failing to keep a proper lookout for other road users.

The court heard that the victim had gone to Raffles Town Club at 1 Plymouth Avenue on Jan 23 this year.

She ended her mahjong session at about 9pm and was walking along the driveway outside the ballroom, looking at her phone and intending to flag a taxi, the prosecutor said.

As Pek navigated a bend, he failed to see the victim who had her back to the car.

On impact, Pek's friend in the front passenger seat shouted in alarm.

Pek applied the brakes, but his car had already run over the victim's legs before coming to a stop. A front desk officer at the club called the police, and the victim was taken to hospital.

The woman was warded for 10 days with fractures to two fingers and an ankle joint, as well as bruises on her wrist and leg. She later opted for non-surgical intervention and was placed on a right-hand splint, with a back slab applied to her leg.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee sought a fine of at least S$2,000 and a driving ban of a year.

He noted that the victim had estimated incurring S$28,500 in expenses, but said the prosecution would not be pressing for a compensation order.

DEFENCE CLAIMS CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE BY VICTIM

Defence lawyer N Sudha Nair asked for a driving ban of not more than six months, saying her client is remorseful and has received counselling and a psychiatrist referral for his distress.

She said Pek was driving very slowly on a private road, sustaining no damage to his vehicle. She added that the expenses incurred by the victim were related to her employment of a domestic worker who was paid S$1,000 a month to look after her.

The lawyer argued that there was contributory negligence on the part of the victim, who stood in the middle of the driveway with "no regard" to vehicles, with her back to the car while using her phone.

The judge accepted that Pek was driving slowly and was coming around a bend, and that it would not be surprising for him to be shocked to see a person on the driveway, "which in itself should not have occurred".

However, he noted that drivers have to go rather slowly and be mindful when negotiating bends with limited views ahead.

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

Source: CNA/ll(gs)

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