Man who tailed fellow driver over 3km admits to dangerous driving

·Senior Reporter
(Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
(Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

Angered that a car had overtaken his at Woodlands Checkpoint, he tailed the driver for about 3km along an expressway and swerved dangerously. He even stopped his car in the middle of the expressway and alighted to hit the front bonnet of the victim’s car.

Resham Singh Dhillon, a 40-year-old Singaporean, pleaded guilty in the State Courts on Tuesday (13 February) to one count of committing mischief, one count of dangerous driving and one count of causing his vehicle to remain at rest in a position likely to cause danger to other road users.

One count of abusive behaviour towards the driver, Shi Xiaopeng, a 43-year-old Singaporean, will be taken into consideration for his sentencing. Resham, an operations supervisor at ExxonMobil Chemical, will be sentenced on 8 March.

The court heard that the incident took place on 26 August 2016, between 8pm and 9.30pm, after Resham was returning to Singapore with his wife and three children from Johor Bahru, Malaysia, after a family outing.

While Resham was driving his car from Woodlands Checkpoint heading towards Seletar Expressway, Shi had overtaken him as he was proceeding slowly over the speed humps, according to court documents. Resham sped up and horned at Shi, and flashed his high beam from behind.

Investigations showed that both drivers subsequently filtered to Seletar Expressway, with Resham following behind Shi. At one point, Resham swore at Shi before abruptly cutting and stopping in front of the victim. Shi braked and proceeded to drive off.

Resham later persisted in following Shi along the expressway and once again cut into the lane in front of Shi, who had to apply an emergency jam brake to avoid a collision.

Subsequently, Resham stopped his car in the middle of the expressway and alighted to hit the front bonnet of Shi’s car with his right palm.

Shi drove off but was again followed by Resham, who cut in front of him and sounded his horn for a period of time.

Resham continued to drive in a dangerous manner on the road, forcing Shi to switch lanes. During this time, Resham’s eldest son, 18, threw a plastic water bottle at Shi’s car from his father’s car window, which hit the bonnet.

The cost of damage to Shi’s car was later assessed to be $460.

For dangerous driving, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Senthilkumaran Sabapathy called for Resham to be sentenced to one week in jail as well as disqualified from driving for a period of 18 months.

Calling it a “sustained and prolonged encounter across 3km” and a “completely disproportionate” response, DPP Senthilkumaran said “there was deliberate and aggressive driving” on the part of Resham.

“The potential harm was significant and occurred on an expressway where traffic is heavy…It was fortuitous that no harm was caused to the accused, his children and the complainant,” he said.

DPP Senthilkumaran added that Resham had committed prior traffic violations and was fined for drink driving in 2001, speeding in 2011 and 2014, and inconsiderate driving on two separate occasions in 2015.

Resham’s lawyers, Jasjeet Singh and S S Dhillion, had argued that the maximum fine of $3,000 on top of a driving disqualification would suffice as there was no collision and no parties were injured.

In addition, Resham is the sole breadwinner who looks after his aged mother and has also made restitution for the damage to Shi’s car, the lawyers said.

“The driver had cut his lane and his entire family was at risk. Unfortunately, it disturbed his mind and led him to commit the offences…His actions were a foolish act in the heat of the moment,” they added.

For committing mischief, Resham can be jailed up to one year and/or fined. For dangerous driving, he faces one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000. For causing his car to remain at rest and causing danger to other road users, he can be jailed up to three months or fined up to $1,000.

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