E-bike user jailed for hitting pedestrian, 68
A MAN who knocked down an elderly woman while riding his motorised bicycle on a pavement in a housing estate was jailed for five weeks yesterday.
Former coffee-shop helper Tan Heng Huat, 40, had admitted to grievously hurting housewife Heng Lian Cheng, then 68, by doing a rash act to endanger the personal safety of others at Paya Lebar Way on April 18 last year.
He was making a right turn around a pillar of Block 120 at an unsafe speed when his view of pedestrians was blocked, resulting in the bicycle colliding with the victim and causing her to suffer facial fractures.
District Judge Lee Poh Choo felt that a power-assisted bicycle poses a greater danger than cars as anyone is free to ride wherever he wants.
In this case, cyclists riding in Housing Board blocks are not subject to traffic rules and face little or no consequences.
Said Judge Lee: "Riding around with motorised bicycles does not make you king of the pathway.''
The court heard that Tan used his $1,280 motorised bicycle, bought in December 2014, to travel to and from the Lorong 34 Geylang coffee shop where he worked.
That morning, he was on his way to work on the motorised bicycle when he failed to slow down or dismount as he approached the corner of the pavement at Block 120.
This was despite knowing that he was allowed to ride only on roads, and not on all paths and pavements.
Tan at no point made sure that there were no pedestrians walking along the pavement, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ee Kuan. He applied the brakes only when he saw Madam Heng but it was too late.
She fell and landed on her face. Tan neither helped nor checked if she was all right.
He apologised, gave her tissue paper and rode away.
Not realising the severity of her injuries, Madam Heng declined and continued walking to the market to meet her husband.
She was later referred by a doctor to Changi General Hospital. She was warded for four days and underwent surgery later that month. Tan surrendered himself three days later.
DPP Prem Raj Prabakaran had asked for five weeks' jail as the victim's injuries were more serious than those suffered by the 69-year-old woman in a case last year, where Lim Choon Teck, 35, was jailed three weeks for knocking her down while cycling on a pavement in Ang Mo Kio.
The maximum punishment for causing grievous hurt by an act to endanger the personal safety of others is four years' jail and a $10,000 fine.