A 69-year-old lorry driver was sentenced to four weeks’ jail on Wednesday (Mar 30) for causing the death of cyclist Mohd Amin Abdullah in February last year.
Tan Kian Huat had failed to keep a proper lookout in Toa Payoh while driving and collided into the cyclist, who had the right of way, the court heard. The 88-year-old Mohd Amin, died in hospital hours after the accident from severe head and chest injuries.
Defence lawyer Alice Tan, who took on the case as part of the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said Tan had called the police and ambulance immediately after the accident, and tried to make Mohd Amin as comfortable as possible, even giving him some water to drink.
When he heard the cyclist had died, Tan was “very disturbed”, and it kept him awake at night, his lawyer said.
In sentencing Tan, District Judge Low Wee Ping noted the advanced ages of both Tan and Mohd Amin. “I wonder, with the benefit of hindsight, whether you should have been driving such a huge vehicle,” the judge said of Tan driving a 14-footer lorry.
The judge also remarked that Mohd Amin should have dismounted and pushed his bicycle across the pedestrian crossing for safety reasons. “I don’t want cyclists to have this idea that they can (cycle anywhere),” the judge said.
Tan was also disqualified from driving for five years as part of his sentence. Judge Low urged Tan to consider carefully whether if he should even apply for a licence after the five-year ban, after which Tan would be 74 years old.
For causing the death of the cyclist by a negligent act, Tan could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined.