NTU professor banned from driving, faces one week jail term over road rage incident on PIE

Assoc Prof Wang Jianliang
Assoc Prof Wang Jianliang NTU website

A 57-year-old Nanyang Technological University (NTU) professor who collided with another motorist was sentenced to a week's jail and fined S$2000 on Thursday, May 23.

The accused Wang Jianliang was also given a driving ban for six months, effective soon after his release from the jail.

Wang pleaded guilty during a court hearing for one count of a rash act endangering the safety of the victim, Samuel Lim Yong Soon and one charge of mischief for hitting Lim's car. However, another charge for using criminal force on Lim by grabbing his hands was taken into consideration for sentencing.

As per the court documents, on March 16, 2017, both men were driving on a merging lane to enter the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) towards Changi Airport. Since the traffic was heavy, and moving much slower than usual, Wang tried to filter into the merging lane, but Lim refused to give him space and this incident annoyed the accused, recounted Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Yeo in the court.

Soon after, Wang, who is the associate professor at NTU's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering sped up and drove on the road shoulder to overtake the victim. The videos from both men's in-car cameras were played in court on Thursday.

The court also heard that the furious Wang intentionally applied brake three times to show his displeasure at Lim not giving way to him earlier. During the third time, the victim could not break in time and it caused the collision.

After the collision, both the drivers stopped their vehicles in the second lane from the left of the five-lane PIE. As per the footage, Wang and Lim were walking around the cars and talking to each other while taking photos of the damaged cars.

Later, the NTU professor asked Lim to show his driving licence, the latter refused and told him to talk to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) using the vehicle's registration number that he had photographed.

While Lim decided to return to his car Wang shouted at him out of rage and tried to stop the victim. Wang also hit the bonnet of Lim's car four times. But when Wang offered to pay the $4300 repair bill for the Mercedes Benz car, the victim refused to take the money.

During the court hearing, the prosecutor urged for a week's jail, disqualification from driving for six months and a high fine.

District Judge Christopher Tan said, "I am left in no doubt that this is a road rage case, and the principle of general deterrence and safety of our road users is called into play."

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