Singapore: 73-year-old man dies in accident; teenage cyclist jailed for nine weeks

Arrested and jailed
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A 19-year-old cyclist was jailed for nine weeks on Tuesday as he caused a fatal accident in Singapore in April last year. Khairul Hairuman had pleaded guilty to committing a rash act that caused the death of a 73-year-old man, identified as Tong Cheng Poh.

On 13 April, 2017, Hairuman was riding a bicycle along Lorong Ah Soo without working brakes when he ran a red light and hit an elderly pedestrian. Reports said that the elderly man died of a head injury the following day.

This is the first case in the country involving a cyclist causing a a fatal accident. The maximum penalty for causing death by a rash act is five years of jail and a fine.

The prosecution had sought four months' jail for Khairul as he pointed that the proliferation of personal mobility devices in recent times is likely to lead to more such cases.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lee Zu Zhao said that Khairul's bicycle had no brakes and it was not designed for use on roads or in public places.

At 5.15 pm on the day of the accident, Khairul was cycling along the two-lane Lorong Ah Soo road in heavy traffic when he noticed that the traffic light was red. Although his view in the left lane was blocked by a bus, he decided to ride between the lanes to cross the pedestrian crossing. Khairul's bicycle ran into Tong who had right of way on the pedestrian crossing.

The authorities inspected the bicycle and found that it was only able to brake at very slow speeds.

Reports said that Khairul was aware that the rear brakes were not fixed. Meanwhile a week before the accident, he had removed the faulty front brakes and did not replace them.

According to court papers, Khairul was working as a Deliveroo delivery rider. However, the food delivery firm has denied this and said that when the incident took place Khairul was not carrying out a delivery.

District Judge Eddy Tham said Khairul committed a clearly illegal and dangerous manoeuvre by beating the red light. While sentencing Khiarul, the court considered his clean record, and the fact that a bicycle's speed is much lower than that of a motorcycle.

This article was first published on February 6, 2018