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Mercedes driver who verbally abused bus captain charged with causing public nuisance

SINGAPORE — A Mercedes-Benz driver who verbally abused a SBS Transit bus captain along Flora Drive last month was charged on Saturday (Nov 5) after the bus company lodged a police report against the driver.

A screengrab of the incident involving the car driver and the bus captain.

A screengrab of the incident involving the car driver and the bus captain.

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SINGAPORE — A Mercedes-Benz driver who verbally abused a SBS Transit bus captain along Flora Drive last month was charged on Saturday (Nov 5) after the bus company lodged a police report against the driver.

The 42-year-old driver — named as Teo Kian Chin in court documents — who was also seen on video grabbing the bus captain's mobile phone and flinging it onto the road, was charged with causing public nuisance, according to CNA.

The video was uploaded onto the Facebook page of Roads.Sg on Sunday and shows Teo's Mercedes-Benz sedan stopped in front of the bus at a bus stop. 

In response to TODAY's queries, Mrs Grace Wu, vice president of customer experience and communications at SBS Transit, said that the incident happened along Flora Drive at close to midnight on Oct 31.

The bus had stopped to allow passengers to alight and board. 

However, when it later tried to exit the bus bay, it found the car obstructing its path. 

"The bus captain alerted the car driver by sounding its horn but the car did not move off. Instead, the car driver came out of his vehicle, shouted at the bus captain and banged against the side of the bus," said Mrs Wu. 

The car driver then returned to his vehicle and drove off "but not before verbally abusing our bus captain", she added.

He stopped a short distance away and walked back to the bus, activated the emergency door button on the side of the vehicle and boarded it, where he shouted at the bus captain again, Mrs Wu said.

He also grabbed hold of the mobile phone that the bus captain was using, she added. 

"A lady, who could have been a passenger on the car and seemed to know the man, boarded the bus and managed to coax him to alight," added Mrs Wu.

While walking back to his car, the driver hurled the bus captain's mobile phone onto the road. The lady subsequently picked it up and returned it to the bus driver, Mrs Wu said. 

She added that the bus captain was in communication with SBS Transit's operations control centre throughout the incident. 

They contacted the police for assistance at the time. 

"We take this incident very seriously as our bus captain was just doing his job in providing an essential service.

"We do not tolerate acts of harassment, intimidation and verbal abuse against our bus captain and have since filed a police report against the car driver," said Mrs Wu. 

She added that SBS will not tolerate any abuse against its staff and will fully back any staff who wishes to defend their rights beyond the criminal justice system and file for civil action.

"This means helping victimised staff navigate the legal system, including appointing representation as well as undertaking the costs," she said.

National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant secretary-general Melvin Yong said Teo’s actions were “thuggish and unreasonable” in a Facebook post on Sunday, noting that vehicles are not allowed to park at bus stops under the Highway Code.

“The National Transport Workers' Union does not tolerate any abuse of our public transport workers when they are carrying out their duties,” added Mr Yong, who is also the executive secretary of the National Transport Workers' Union.

Those found guilty of causing public nuisance can be fined up to S$2,000.

 

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SBS Transit Mercedes-Benz

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