Caught speeding at 154km/h in KPE tunnel with dad’s BMW, student gets jail, fine and driving ban
SINGAPORE — During the Covid-19 circuit breaker period in 2020 when people were not allowed to leave their homes for non-essential purposes, a university student met several others to drive together in a convoy.
Chen Zi Hao, 25, was jailed for a week and fined S$4,000 on Tuesday (June 21) after pleading guilty to violating Covid-19 regulations by meeting others to socialise, as well as to driving in a dangerous manner under the Road Traffic Act.
He was speeding on the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) tunnel at about 154km/h — almost twice the speed limit of 80km/h.
As part of his sentence, he was also disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for two years.
The court heard that he met eight other people around midnight on May 16, 2020. His friend had asked him if he was interested in going for a night drive.
When the pair reached an industrial building in Woodlands, there were already four to five cars parked there. Chen was driving his father’s black BMW 523i car.
At around 12.30am, Chen was part of a group of at least nine cars that drove off in a convoy. They went to a McDonald’s outlet along West Coast Highway where at least two more cars joined them.
The convoy then drove along the Ayer Rajah Expressway, Marine Coastal Expressway (MCE) and KPE, before exiting onto Tampines Expressway.
The convoy also sped over the limit of 80km/h along an 11km stretch of the MCE and KPE tunnel until they exited.
As for Chen, a surveillance camera caught him driving at about 154km/h while inside the KPE tunnel.
A speed analysis report prepared by the Health Sciences Authority showed that at least eight other cars were also travelling at high speeds in the tunnel, one after the other, and across more than one lane.
Video footage of this was captured on the in-car camera of another vehicle in the tunnel. The footage was then published on the “SG Road Vigilante” Facebook group.
A member of the public also called the police upon encountering the convoy in the tunnel, saying that it could have "almost caused an accident".
Chen could have been jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$10,000 for flouting Covid-19 regulations.
For driving at a speed that was dangerous to the public, he could have been jailed for up to 12 months or fined up to S$5,000, or both.
He could also have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for life or for such a period as the court may think fit.
Another man, car dealer Yeo Jing Cheng, was jailed and fined last year for offences that included being part of the convoy.
Yeo had removed his white Volkswagen Jetta’s GT-wing spoiler — an accessory that is fitted to the boot lid — after seeing the video on SG Road Vigilante’s Facebook group, then lied to the police that he was not involved.
Of the nine people who drove in the convoy, five — including Chen and Yeo — have been prosecuted and sentenced. The others have been charged and their cases are pending before the courts.