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6 days’ jail for sleepy delivery driver who drove 1.2km on park connector after running red light

SINGAPORE — A delivery driver was sentenced to six days’ jail on Wednesday (Sept 21) and disqualified from driving for 15 months for running a red light at an Ang Mo Kio junction, then driving along a public park connector for 1.2km.

6 days’ jail for sleepy delivery driver who drove 1.2km on park connector after running red light
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  • Muhammad Ibrahim Abdullah, 27, had worked all night before running a red light
  • He then drove on a park connector, usually used by pedestrians, in broad daylight
  • Ibrahim pleaded guilty to driving in a rash manner on a public way
  • He jailed for six days and disqualified from driving for 15 months

SINGAPORE — A delivery driver was jailed six days on Wednesday (Sept 21) and disqualified from driving for 15 months after running a red light at a road junction in Ang Mo Kio, then driving along a public park connector for 1.2km.

Muhammad Ibrahim Abdullah fell asleep at the wheel of his company van that afternoon after starting work at 10.30pm the previous day.

This happened at about 12.30pm on April 19, 2020 during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period, when movements and activities were restricted at the height of the pandemic.

Ibrahim, 27, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a single charge under the Penal Code — driving in a rash manner on a public way.

The court heard that Ibrahim began his work as a lorry driver for his first job around 10.30pm on April 18, 2020.

He worked until 6.30am the next day before starting his delivery driver job at 8am. He worked for gourmet grocery store MarketStall at the time.

After delivering food parcels, he went to his cousin’s place to have a meal before driving home around noon.

He then fell asleep at the wheel, drove through a red light at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, and drove up onto a pavement along a park connector, which is typically used by pedestrians.

Another driver had to brake abruptly to avoid colliding with Ibrahim. When he and his passenger approached Ibrahim’s van, they noticed that he was sitting in the driver’s seat with his head on the steering wheel.

Ibrahim then woke up when they knocked on the van's window and asked if he was okay. He replied that he was feeling tired and wanted to go home.

Instead of reversing back onto the road, he continued driving along the pavement for 1.2km.

Upon reaching the end of the park connector, he came to a stop. A passer-by approached to ask if he was okay.

Ibrahim replied that he was okay in a slurred manner. When the passer-by told him to wait for the police, he tried to return to the road, hitting a railing and bollard in the process.

He then left the scene without waiting for the police to arrive. No one was injured in the incident.

ACKNOWLEDGED LAPSE IN JUDGEMENT

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jocelyn Teo asked for one to two weeks’ jail along with a two-year disqualification period from driving.

The accused’s actions were especially dangerous to pedestrians who would not be expecting a van on the park connector. It was fortuitous that there was no personal injury and only minor property damage.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jocelyn Teo

“The accused’s actions were especially dangerous to pedestrians who would not be expecting a van on the park connector. It was fortuitous that there was no personal injury and only minor property damage,” she told the court.

Ibrahim’s lawyer, Ms A Meenakshi from IRB Law, said that Ibrahim would make sure that he was always fit to drive a vehicle before getting behind the wheel, and that he fully understands the severity of his actions.

Ms Meenakshi said that Ibrahim worked as a private bus driver before the Covid-19 pandemic. When the pandemic severely affected his work and he had to quit his job, he turned to being a food deliveryman in the daytime and doing odd jobs at night to make ends meet.

Ibrahim was feeling tired on the day of the incident but acknowledged that it was a severe lapse in judgement on his part to drive while feeling sleepy, Ms Meenakshi added.

The lawyer also noted that no one was injured in the incident, and there would have been few pedestrians around given that it was during the circuit breaker period.

She sought a lighter sentence of five days’ jail and a 12-month disqualification period.

For rash driving on a public way, Ibrahim could have been jailed for up to a year or fined up to S$5,000, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime driving rash act park connector Ang Mo Kio sleepy

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