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Detention order for youth who rode modified e-scooter against traffic, then crashed into pedestrian

SINGAPORE — A 17-year-old Vietnamese national was in town visiting friends when he decided to borrow an electric scooter to buy food. He rode it on the road against the flow of traffic and ended up colliding into a pedestrian.

Detention order for youth who rode modified e-scooter against traffic, then crashed into pedestrian
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SINGAPORE — A 17-year-old Vietnamese national was in town visiting friends when he decided to borrow an electric scooter to buy food. He rode it on the road against the flow of traffic and ended up colliding into a pedestrian.

The e-scooter, which was purchased in Malaysia, weighed over 20kg and was not registered under the law.

On Wednesday (Dec 18), Nguyen Doan Nam was sentenced to a short detention order of seven days. This means that he will spend a week behind bars but will not have a criminal record when he is released.

He pleaded guilty to causing hurt by a rash act that endangered the personal safety of others. Two other charges of riding an unregistered personal mobility device (PMD) on the road were taken into consideration for sentencing.

A district court heard that Nguyen arrived in Singapore on a social visit pass on April 8 this year. 

The incident happened on May 20, when he borrowed the e-scooter from his friend to go to a nearby supermarket. Another friend rode pillion with him.

After buying food, as the pair were heading back to where they were staying, Nguyen rode on Geylang Road against traffic flow, sticking close to the kerb.

Around this time, Mr Teo Kok Hock — who was within 50m of a “no pedestrian crossing” sign — was about to cross Geylang Road. 

While on the kerb side, Mr Teo, 37, checked for oncoming traffic to his right before stepping onto the road. It was at this juncture that Nguyen noticed him but could not stop in time.

Nguyen collided into Mr Teo from the back, causing the latter to fly forward and hit the ground. Mr Teo sustained multiple abrasions on his elbow and knee, as well as a cut on his left foot.

Nguyen and his friend also fell onto the road but were not injured.

Mr Teo called the police for help, and an ambulance later took him to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He received four days of medical leave.

Both the prosecution and Nguyen’s lawyer sought the short detention order. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Chin said that the victim had not suffered serious injuries, but Nguyen was riding at a “relatively fast” speed and pedestrians would not have expected him to be coming from that direction. 

"While the victim was jay-walking just prior to the collision, this does not reduce the culpability of the accused in riding the PMD against the flow of traffic. The victim had checked that oncoming traffic was clear before attempting to cross the road,” the prosecutor added.

Nguyen could have been jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both for causing hurt by a rash act.  

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