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Lorry driver fined S$1,000 for negligent driving that left retiree with fractured ribs

SINGAPORE — A 68-year-old man, who collided with a retiree while driving his lorry at a loading-and-unloading bay, was fined S$1,000 on Tuesday (May 10).

Lorry driver fined S$1,000 for negligent driving that left retiree with fractured ribs

Balakrishnan S Subramaniam at the State Courts on May 10, 2022.

SINGAPORE — A 68-year-old man, who collided with a retiree while behind the wheel of a lorry at a loading-and-unloading bay, was fined S$1,000 on Tuesday (May 10).

Balakrishnan S Subramaniam, a Singaporean, pleaded guilty to committing a negligent act that endangered the personal safety of others.

He was also banned from driving Class 4, 4A and 5 vehicles for 10 months.

The court heard that around noon on April 14 last year, he parked his vehicle beside a container chassis while waiting for a parking lot at Valiant Industrial Building, located at 30 Kallang Pudding Road.

The victim, aged 61, then walked between Balakrishnan’s lorry and the container chassis.

At the same time, Balakrishnan decided to park at a lot that had just been vacated. He failed to keep a proper lookout and the left side of his lorry collided with the victim. 

Another driver who witnessed the accident called the police.

The victim was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where he was found to have sustained rib fractures and a liver contusion. He was hospitalised for three days and given 14 days of hospitalisation leave.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ang Siok Chen sought a fine of between S$1,000 and the maximum S$1,500. She left the length of the driving ban up to the court.

She revealed that Balakrishnan had originally been charged with a more serious offence of causing grievous hurt by a negligent act.

Balakrishnan’s lawyer Lolita Andrew asked for a driving ban not to be imposed, saying that driving a lorry was his “only way of living” for the past 30 years and that he is his family’s sole breadwinner.

Ms Andrew also argued that it was “humanly impossible” for the victim “to go through such a narrow space”, but he had “wiggled through” all the same.

In response, DPP Ang said that the victim’s conduct had no bearing on Balakrishnan’s culpability for the offence, adding: “The victim’s decision to walk in between the container and the lorry, even if this action had contributed to the collision, it did not affect the accused’s failure to keep a proper lookout.”

Senior District Judge Hamzah Moosa allowed Balakrishnan's driving ban to take effect in a month's time, after Ms Andrew said that her client needed time to find someone to replace him at work. 

Balakrishnan could have been fined up to S$1,500 or jailed for up to three months, or punished with both.

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court crime negligence accident lorry driver lorry

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