Singapore—A lawsuit has been filed against the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as well as the National Parks Board (NParks) by a motorcycle driver who claimed he crashed into a large sambar deer at Upper Thomson Road on the evening of Sept 21, 2019.
Mr Muhammad Aliff Mohd Jeferee, 26, is claiming that the two agencies have been negligent. He is seeking damages for injuries sustained to his head, shoulder and legs.
The accident occurred at around 9:23 pm, after which Mr Aliff, a technician, was taken conscious to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
The injuries to the deer could not be determined, as it had gone back to the woods after the collision.
However, according to LTA and NParks, Mr Aliff was to be blamed for the collision. The two agencies denied the claims last October.
According to Mr Aliff’s court filings, since the LTA is responsible for maintaining the land transport system, and NParks is responsible for wildlife and animals, they need to be conscious of the presence of wild animals and the possible dangers involved when they are around, according to a report in the straitstimes.com (ST).
Mr Aliff’s lawyer, Hoh Chin Cha from Hoh Law Corp, said that it is LTA’s duty to manage and maintain the road in order to stop wild animals from encroaching as well as endangering those who use the road. He added that LTA has not taken preventive measures in this regard. As for NParks, it also failed in taking all reasonable steps to make sure that the animals in the nature reserve, especially the bigger ones, do not encroach on the streets and endanger motorists.
But the LTA has said that its scope of responsibilities in taking care of the country’s land transport system does not include predicting or controlling what wild animals do, or keeping them away from public roads.
Rather, the Authority is mainly responsible for developing and managing the country’s land transport infrastructure and systems. Furthermore, signs that say “Animals Ahead” had been installed by the LTA along Upper Thomson Road, including one just before the area where the collision had reportedly taken place.
As for NParks, it maintained that while its duties include managing the country’s animal population, the management of animals and wildlife are not within its scope.
NParks’ lawyers also said that its surveys of the population of sambar deer showed that it has been kept at a reasonable and manageable number, ST reported.
Moreover, when its officers went to inspect the area where the collision was said to have occurred, they found no trace of the deer.
Mr Aliff’s suit against LTA and NParks was brought up for mention in the State Courts on Monday (Nov 30). Concerns over Singapore’s wild animal population have been raised after a woman was attacked by a wild boar in Pasir Ris on Nov 17. -/TISG