Bus driver who ran over guard in fatal accident had 'dismal' driving record, gets 4 weeks' jail

David Sun
The New Paper
June 20, 2019

He had a dismal driving record, yet Tan Bock Lim still chose to drive the 4,000kg minibus when the road was wet. That decision cost a man his life.

The 56-year-old minibus driver was convicted yesterday of causing death by negligent act.

He was jailed for four weeks and disqualified from driving for five years after he ran over and killed 25-year-old Jevainthiran Rajendran.

At about 7pm on Nov 21 last year, Tan drove out of Forestville, an executive condominium in Woodlands, intending to make a right turn into Woodlands Drive 16. He stopped at the stop line for about six seconds to look out for traffic.

At the same time, Mr Jevainthiran, a security guard at Forestville, was crossing back to the guardhouse from across the one-lane bi-directional road. The guard was not jaywalking as he had crossed the road more than 50m from the nearest designated crossing.

Tan, who did not keep a proper lookout, made the turn and ran over Mr Jevainthiran.

The police received a call from the guardhouse at 7.07pm informing them of the accident and that a man was trapped under the bus.

Mr Jevainthiran suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene at about 7.30pm that day.

An autopsy report found that his injuries were consistent with that caused by a crushing motion.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim asked for a sentence of four weeks' jail and for Tan to be disqualified from driving for five years. She told the court that there were aggravating factors, including his bad driving history, which warranted a deterrent sentence.

From 1996 to 2017, Tan had a total of 12 speeding records, three incidents of careless or inconsiderate driving, and one incident each of beating a red light, failing to signal and using his mobile phone while driving.

Tan submitted a mitigation letter written by his Member of Parliament that said he was remorseful.

In the statement, he also said that he was the sole breadwinner in his family and that he had suffered a salary reduction following the incident. He pleaded for leniency and asked to defer his sentence for one day to make arrangements for someone to look after his wife, who has difficulty walking.

District Judge Luke Tan said he agreed with the prosecution and told Tan he had an abysmal driving record.

"Somebody paid for this with his life... I see no reason not to impose the sentence asked for by the prosecution."

The judge did grant a deferment of Tan's sentence for a day.

For causing death by negligent act, Tan could have been jailed for up to two years, or fined, or both.

He is expected to surrender himself at noon today to begin serving his jail time.

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