Singapore — Nguyen Doan Nam, a 17-year-old Vietnamese national, pleaded guilty to causing hurt by a rash act which endangered the personal safety of others on Wednesday, December 18. Mr Nguyen had ridden against traffic on a PMD and collided with a pedestrian earlier this year.
He has been sentenced to a detention order of one-week, and faced two additional charges under the Road Traffic Act for his sentencing.
Individuals who are given a short detention order are detained for a short period of time, but their offences are not marked under a criminal record when they are released.
On May 20, 2019, at shortly past 10 o’clock in the morning, Mr Nguyen was riding a borrowed PMD, an e-scooter, along Geylang Road and collided into Teo Kok Hua, age 37. The impact sent Mr Teo flying.
At that time, the teen had been on his way home from a grocery store, with a friend riding behind him on the PMD. They were on Geylang Road going toward Kallang Road, close to the curb, against the traffic flow.
Mr Teo, at the same moment, was jaywalking across Geylang Road.
It was noted by Kenneth Chin, the Deputy Public Prosecutor on the case, that Mr Teo crossed the street even though a “No Pedestrian Crossing” sign was only 50 meters away, although he did check for oncoming traffic before he ventured out.
DPP Chin said, “While the victim was jaywalking just prior to the collision, this does not reduce the culpability of the accused in riding the PMD against the flow of traffic. The victim had checked that oncoming traffic was clear before attempting to cross the road.”
Because he did exercise some degree of caution, the DPP said that despite Mr Teo’s jaywalking, Mr Nguyen’s being at fault for driving against the flow of traffic was undiminished.
The Straits Times (ST) reports DPP Chin as saying, “While the victim was jaywalking just prior to the collision, this does not reduce the culpability of the accused in riding the PMD against the flow of traffic. The victim had checked that oncoming traffic was clear before attempting to cross the road.”
After the collision Mr Teo was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was treated for several wounds on his right elbow, right knee, and his left foot.
The driver and his friend were uninjured.
Police say that after carrying out investigations, they discovered that the PMD, which has even bought from Malaysia, did not follow regulations under Singapore’s Active Mobility Act (AMA), as its weight was over 20 kilos.
Furthermore, the device, which has been borrowed from Mr Nguyen’s friend Quang Vung, had not been registered in Singapore.
Due to these violations, and the fact that Mr Nguyen was driving at a relatively high speed against the flow of traffic, DPP Chin called the way in which he drove the PMD as “egregious.”
The teen had been in the country since April 8 on a social visit pass, and had been spending time with some friends.
Had Mr Nguyen been given the maximum sentence for his offence, he could have spent as much as one year in jail and been made to pay a fine of S$5,000. -/TISG