Ex-SMRT bus driver jailed 10 weeks for causing elderly pedestrian's death

File photo of State Courts. Yahoo Singapore

A former SMRT bus driver was jailed 10 weeks for failing to keep a proper lookout while driving and running over an elderly pedestrian.

Mokhtar Bahrom was making a right turn at a cross junction in Woodlands when the bus he was driving hit Choo Tian Hwa, 80, according to a report by The Straits Times. The 37-year-old Malaysian was also banned from driving for five years.

Mokhtar admitted to causing Choo’s death at the signalised cross junction of Woodlands Avenue 7 and Woodlands Avenue 2 around 11pm on July 9 last year, the report said. Choo succumbed to his head injury in hospital a week later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kong Kuek Foo, who asked for a sentence of at least 10 weeks and a five-year driving ban, told the court that as Mokhtar was driving a heavy vehicle he should have been more careful. DPP Kong said the extent of negligence was serious in Mokhtar’s case.

The driver had an unobstructed view at the time of the accident, DPP Kong added.

Mokhtar, who was unrepresented, was arrested in Malaysia and handed over to Singapore police on 16 February this year. He returned to Malaysia on 1 October after his work permit was cancelled.

In mitigation, Mokhtar said he has three school-going children and his wife is not working.  He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death through a negligent act.