Driver charged for providing carpooling service during circuit breaker

Ng's car along Handy Road during LTA enforcement operations. (PHOTO: Land Transport Authority)

SINGAPORE — A 53-year-old man was charged on Thursday (28 May) with providing a carpooling service during the circuit breaker period.

Ng Ching Kiat, a Singapore permanent resident, was charged with leaving his residence without reasonable excuse to provide carpooling services on 23 April at about 10.45am at Handy Road with a Honda car.

The act is a contravention of Regulation 4(2) of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

In the same incident, Ng is said to have used a car without valid insurance and a valid public service vehicle license. He was handed a charge each for these offences in the same court sitting.

A Land Transport Authority prosecutor said on Thursday that Ng’s alleged offences were serious as they went against the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

Ng, who spoke through a Mandarin interpreter, indicated that he wanted to plead guilty and added that if he were an essential worker, he would have to work during this period. However, he did not manage to elaborate on this point as the district judge said this was not the appropriate forum for him.

Ng will return for his plead guilty mention on 5 June.

Carpooling services were banned from 16 April after the Transport Ministry revoked a law allowing it to be carried out under some conditions. The new rules came into effect as part of regulations targeted to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Offenders may face a jail term of up to six months or a maximum fine of $10,000.

If convicted on using a car without the appropriate insurance, Ng may be jailed up to three months and/or fined up to $1,000, he will also be disqualified from driving for a year. For using a car without a valid public service vehicle license, he could be jailed up to six months, fined up to $3,000, or both.

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