6 weeks’ jail, driving ban for bus driver who fatally ran over motorcyclist while turning
SINGAPORE — While driving a private bus in the Jalan Besar area five years ago, Manormani Ayyakannoo failed to notice V Govindarajoo riding a motorcycle on his right before he made a right turn.
The biker veered to avoid the larger vehicle, lost control, mounted the kerb and fell onto the road.
He died after the rear right wheel of Manormani's bus ran over his head.
On Wednesday (June 15), Manormani, who worked for Singapore Johore Express Pte Ltd, was convicted after claiming trial to a single charge of causing Govindarajoo’s death by a negligent act.
The 62-year-old was sentenced to six weeks’ jail as well as disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for five years.
The accident took place along Rochor Canal Road by Ban San Street in the early afternoon of May 6, 2017.
Manormani made five round trips each day from Johor to Singapore and back, using the same route each time.
When the accident happened, he was on his third trip of the day ferrying passengers from Johor to Singapore. He was about to let them alight at the bus bay on Ban San Street, having driven for more than seven hours by then.
During the trial, Manormani’s defence was that he was behind the wheel of his bus in the middle of Rochor Canal Road, and he did not see the biker despite checking his side mirrors before making a right turn onto Ban San Street.
Through his lawyer Anil Balchandani, he also claimed that Govindarajoo was in his blind spot and had made a miscalculated attempt to overtake the bus.
However, District Judge Ng Cheng Thiam found that Manormani had been travelling in the left lane before turning right.
The judge cited “very strong evidence” such as Manormani admitting at the scene to two police officers that he had been doing this. It was also corroborated by expert evidence from the Health Sciences Authority.
The prosecution also noted that video footage showed Manormani failing to check his upper and lower right mirrors prior to making the "dangerous" right turn.
District Judge Ng told the court that Manormani had been negligent in turning right and thus encroaching on Govindarajoo’s path.
“The court also finds that the defence has failed to shake (the expert’s) evidence that… just before the accident occurred, the motorcycle was visible from the bus’ side view mirror,” District Judge Ng added.
Those convicted of causing death by a negligent act can be jailed up to two years or fined, or punished with both. They can also be given a driving ban.
Related topicscourt crime traffic accident death motorcyclist bus driver
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