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Jail, driving ban for man who sped while looking for a toilet, sparking police chase

SINGAPORE — He was driving along an expressway in the early hours of the morning when his stomach started to ache.

Jail, driving ban for man who sped while looking for a toilet, sparking police chase

Hoo Tee Tuan’s lawyer said that this was not a case of racing, adding that his client was neither drinking nor running from the police.

  • Hoo Tee Tuan was speeding as he said he had a stomachache while driving home 
  • He did not stop when a traffic police officer gave chase, running two red lights and driving against traffic
  • He was jailed seven weeks and disqualified from driving for four years

 

SINGAPORE — He was driving along an expressway in the early hours of the morning when his stomach started to ache. 

Hoo Tee Tuan, 57, took the nearest exit out of the Pan Island Expressway and sped towards his brother’s coffee shop in Jurong to use the toilet. 

A traffic police officer gave chase but Hoo did not stop and instead continued at about 180km/h, running two red lights and twice driving against the flow of traffic.

He was on Wednesday (Jan 6) jailed seven weeks and disqualified from driving for four years, after he pleaded guilty to one charge each of rash driving and failing to stop for a police officer.

The incident happened around 3am on March 1, 2019, after he left the casino at Marina Bay Sands and was driving back to his home in Jurong.

After Hoo exited the Pan Island Expressway towards Jurong Canal Drive, a traffic police officer noticed that he was speeding, switched on his car’s blinkers and gave chase.

The officer saw Hoo drive at speeds of up to about 180km/h. As he was being chased, Hoo made several turns and ran two red lights. 

Video footage taken from Hoo’s dashboard camera was shown in court. 

At one point, while making a turn from Jurong East Street 31, he stopped midway and drove against traffic towards Boon Lay Way. He drove against traffic once more later. 

He eventually stopped when trying to enter a Housing and Development Board car park because a taxi was in the way.

Hoo’s lawyer Lim Soo Peng said that his client, who had been suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, soiled his pants when he was pulled over by the police.

“The police had to line the back seat of the police car with a plastic sheet before he was allowed to enter it,” Mr Lim said. 

He noted that this was not a case of racing, adding that Hoo was neither drinking nor running from the police. He was “looking for a toilet” and trying to get there as quickly as possible.

Mr Lim said that Hoo had initially thought the police car was an ambulance, as his vehicle was some distance away and the traffic police officer did not switch on the siren. 

He realised it was a police car only later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Deborah Lee argued, however, that his bowel condition was not a valid reason to put other road users in danger. 

“He could have stopped along the road once he exited the highway,” she said, pointing out that Hoo had known about his medical condition for about a year and was “well-placed” to deal with it.

District Judge Christopher Goh then asked Mr Lim: “Should your client even be driving if he says he suffers from this sort of condition?” 

Mr Lim replied: “I think he has learnt his lesson.” 

Hoo, who is out on S$15,000 bail, begins his jail sentence on Jan 27.

For dangerous driving, he could have been jailed up to a year or fined up to S$5,000, or punished with both. 

For failing to stop for a police officer, he could have been jailed up to three months or fined up to S$1,000, or given both penalties.

Related topics

speeding crime court Traffic Offence Traffic Police

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