Singapore—The rider of an electric scooter involved in a collision that left a 65-year-old woman dead a few days later is now facing three charges. For one of them, he may end up in jail for five years, be made to pay a fine, or both.
The rider, twenty-year-old Hung Kee Boon, who is a Permanent Resident from Malaysia, was faced with one charge of causing the death of the woman, Ong Bee Eng, as well as two other charges under the Active Mobility Act due to his riding a non-compliant and unregistered personal mobility device (PMD) on November 11, Monday.
On September 21, Mr Hung was driving his e-scooter on a bike path near Block 539 Bedok North Street 3 at around 10:23 in the evening.
When he was near an intersection, he collided into Ms Ong, who had been on her bicycle.
The collision left Ms Ong in a coma, and she succumbed to her injuries four days after the accident, TODAY reports.
Per regulations from the Land Transport Authority (LTA), for a PMD to be used in public paths, it must not be heavier than 20 kilos, nor bigger than 70 centimeters in width.
It also cannot be driven at speeds faster than 25 kilometers per hour.
According to court documents, the e-scooter that Mr Hung used in the accident had a weight of 44.2 kilos. Moreover, the device’s handlebar was 72.5 centimeters in width.
Finally, Mr Hung was allegedly driving his device at at least 26 to 28 kilometers per hour.
Mr Hung is currently out on bail of S$15,000. He is due to be back in court by November 25.
The twenty-year-old could face five years in jail, a fine, or both, if he is found guilty of committing the rash act.
For the use of a PMD that is non-compliant, Mr Hung faces an additional three months in jail, another fine of up to S$5,000, or both, if he is convicted.
For the use of a PMD that is unregistered, Mr Hung faces an additional three months in jail, another fine of up to S$2,000, or both.
Ms Ong’s death was mentioned in Parliament on November 4 in relation to the announcement of a ban on e-scooters on public footpaths, which took effect the following day.
Lam Pin Min, the Senior Minister of State for Transport, has said that the ban was enforced in the interest of public safety. In a Facebook post he wrote on November 8, he said,
“When e-scooters, or what we call PMDs, came into the picture here, they were a boon for many. They were cheaper than cars or motorcycles, more portable than bicycles and easy to use. Very quickly, they became a popular first- and last-mile mode of transport.
But with the benefits came the problems – reckless and inconsiderate riding and PMD fires. As with any new ‘entrant’ to an existing system, we had to figure out how the new and the old could co-exist in harmony.
Over the last 2 years, we tried hard to make it work for everyone: we passed laws to regulate PMDs on footpaths, we lowered speed limits, we introduced the Safe Riding Programme, and we required the UL-2272 fire safety standard. At the same time, LTA stepped up their enforcement against errant riders.
Despite all this, the situation did not improve. Last year, nearly 300 people were treated at hospitals for PMD-related injuries. That’s nearly 1 every day! And these were just the reported cases. Many of these are minor incidents, but you would remember the more serious ones, including those that resulted in fatalities.
When the safety of people is at stake, the decision is always clear. That is why after thinking long and hard, we decided to implement this ban to make our footpaths safer again.”
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