Polytechnic student gets short detention for knocking down woman, won't have criminal record

A polytechnic student was given a two-week short detention order on Tuesday (Jul 17) for knocking down a pedestrian while riding his electric scooter, causing her to sustain severe brain injuries.

Nicholas Ting Nai Jie, who turned 19 on Sunday, is to serve a brief term in jail, although he will not have a criminal record after his release, reports The Straits Times.

He is also required to perform 100 hours of community service.

Madam Ang Liu Kiow, a mother of three, was left in a month-long coma after the accident although she is now on the way to recovery.

Her husband said that she can no longer remember the past or express herself properly.

Ting had pleaded guilty on June 13, to causing grievous hurt to Madam Ang while riding his electric scooter in a negligent manner.

The court heard that the 14kg device cost $1,600 and that his father had bought it in July 2016.

On the day (Sep 17, 2016) the accident occurred, Ting's girlfriend was with him on the electric scooter as they made their way to Pasir Ris East Community Club.

Ting had disregarded the instructions manual of his e-scooter warning against riding with a pillion rider.

He was also travelling at a speed of about 15km/h on a footpath in Pasir Ris Drive 1 before nearing a bus stop. 

The court heard that Ting did not slow down nor sound the horn to alert the surrounding pedestrians that he was approaching the area.

Hence, when Madam Ang stepped onto the footpath in front of the bus stop, it was already too late for Ting to apply the brakes.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok said: "The e-scooter impacted the left side of the victim, causing her to fall and hit her head on the ground.

"After the collision, the victim sat on the footpath and appeared dazed.

"She was helped by pedestrians to rest on the seats of the bus stop. It was observed that her eyes were open but she was not responsive.

"She also vomited yellowish fluid a few times."

The couple stayed at the scene and alerted the police. And an ambulance conveyed Madam Ang to Changi General Hospital, where she was found to be bleeding in her brain.

The court heard that her medical, hospitalisation and therapy fees totalled up to over $107,000. And expenses that were paid out of her own pocket came up to $2,470.65 after government subsidies and an insurance payout, as of August last year.

Starting from May 1 this year, those who fail to abide by regulations set out in the Active Mobility Act by the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) will face stiff fines and even imprisonment.

For example, electric scooters are not allowed to go on public roads, and the speed limits are 15km/h on footpaths and 25km/h on park connectors and shared paths.

First-time offenders who flout the usage rules and speed limits may be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to three months, or both. Repeat offenders may have their fine and jail term doubled.

The new law also places a limit on the size and speed of the devices that can be used on public paths. These cannot weigh more than 20kg each and must have their speeds capped at 25km/h.

Those who use devices that flout these rules can be fined up to $5,000 and jailed for up to three months, or both.

For causing grievous hurt due to negligence, Ting could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.