SINGAPORE — A GrabFood delivery rider who collided into the back of a pedestrian after trying and failing to avoid the impact was fined $2,000 on Friday (30 April).
Heer Weng Kong, 28, had been looking at his phone. He only noticed the 58-year-old victim, who was also using his phone, a moment before colliding into him.
Heer pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt through a negligent act.
On 4 April last year, Heer was riding his bicycle at a park connector near Block 395A Bukit Batok West Avenue 5 at night, while using his handphone concurrently. He failed to notice the victim, who was using his handphone while walking in the middle of the path.
When he noticed the victim, Heer jammed his brakes and swerved his bicycle but could not stop in time. He collided into the back of the victim, who fell forward. Heer immediately helped the man and stayed on scene until the victim was conveyed to the hospital.
A passerby called the police about the incident.
The victim sustained a fracture and abrasions to his right elbow, and abrasions to his right knee. He was given 45 days of hospitalisation leave. Heer compensated the victim $505.20.
The prosecution sought the maximum fine of $2,500 under Heer's charge, stating that the hurt caused was more serious than most cases under the same charge.
Heer's lawyer Jerome Tan described the fracture and abrasions as "minor", pointing out that that the victim did not suffer any permanent injury.
"The collision occurred along the park connector at about 10.17pm, this is at night and of course visibility and lighting is poor. As a delivery driver, (my client) depended on his phone for his delivery and his jobs. Unfortunately, it is the nature of his work to look at his phone and it's very unfortunate that because of this it resulted in the collision," said lawyer Tan.
Tan added that Heer assisted the victim and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived, and that Heer made compensation.
Heer was self-employed as a photographer and the COVID-19 pandemic had "hit him hard" as opportunities were "far and few between", said Tan.
"He is remorseful for his acts and deeply regrets having caused hurt to the victim," said Tan, who sought a fine of $1,000.
For causing hurt through a negligent act, Heer could have been jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $2,500.
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