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Reformative training for teen who drove father's car without licence, crashing it into road divider

SINGAPORE — After a night out with friends, 19-year-old Naveender Singh Sahota decided to drive his friends home with his father's car, even though he did not have a driving licence and had drunk alcohol.

Reformative training for teen who drove father's car without licence, crashing it into road divider
  • Naveender Singh Sahota, 19, was driving his friends home after having supper 
  • He lost control of the car, which he took from his father without his consent, while driving along the SLE
  • Investigations found that Singh had no driving licence and that he was speeding 

SINGAPORE — After a night out with friends, 19-year-old Naveender Singh Sahota decided to drive his friends home with his father's car, even though he did not have a driving licence and had drunk alcohol. 

He ended up overturning the car, which he drove without his father's consent, into a road divider along the Seletar Expressway, injuring him and two passengers.

In court on Wednesday (Aug 3), the teen was sentenced to at least six months’ reformative training after pleading guilty to six traffic-related charges, including careless driving that causes grievous hurt and driving without a valid licence.

Reformative training is a regimented rehabilitation programme for offenders under 21 who commit relatively serious crimes.

Singh will also be disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licence for a period of five years after his release. 

Three other similar charges were taken into consideration by the judge.

WHAT HAPPENED

At around 10pm on Sept 9, 2021, Singh discovered the spare car key kept by his father at home and decided to drive the vehicle without the older man’s consent, the court heard.

He drove the car to pick up two of his friends, both men aged 20 and 22, for supper at Joo Chiat, before driving them home in Woodlands, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Gladys Lim.

However, while he was driving along the Seletar Expressway towards the Bukit Timah Expressway, the prosecutor said Singh “drove without due care and attention” and lost control of the vehicle.

As a result, it crashed into a road divider which, in turn, caused the car to skid and overturn.

DPP Lim said the collision knocked Singh unconscious and also threw his 22-year-old passenger 3m out of the car. This caused the passenger to fracture a knee joint, among other injuries. 

The accident left Singh with multiple injuries on his head, wrist and shin, and had to undergo two surgeries to treat them.

As for the 20-year-old passenger, DPP Lim said he suffered superficial abrasion wounds to his arm and one of his fingers. Court documents did not state if this passenger was wearing a seat belt.

Aside from revealing that he did not have a driving licence, Singh also admitted during investigations that he was driving at about 90 to 100 km/h before the accident and that he was using his mobile phone, which he had placed on his lap, as a navigation device.

He also confessed that he had drunk at least one can of beer before he drove, and that he was feeling sleepy while driving because he did not have enough rest. It was not clear when exactly Singh had consumed alcohol.  

DPP Lim said that the accident had badly damaged the car, which was scrapped for S$500.

She added that Singh was arrested for a separate incident on Nov 24 last year for drug-related offences, and he started rehabilitation at the Drugs Rehabilitation Centre on March 3 this year.

He will begin his latest sentence on Wednesday.

Anyone found guilty of careless driving causing grievous hurt can be fined up to S$5,000 or jailed up two years, or both. 

Those found guilty of driving without a licence can be fined up to S$10,000 or jailed up to three years, or both.

Related topics

drink driving courts Irresponsible Driving

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