Cabby fired for reckless driving

Cabby fired for reckless driving
DANGEROUS: A screen grab of a video showing the cabby suddenly cutting into right lane on the TPE.

A cabby has been sacked by SMRT for almost causing an accident with his reckless driving over the Chinese New Year weekend. SMRT said it fired him after a thorough investigation.

The incident happened on the Tampines Expressway (TPE) at about 10.30pm last Saturday.

A 33-year-old business manager in the finance industry, who wanted to be known only as JL, was in a TransCab taxi heading towards his Punggol home at about 10.25pm.

Also in the cab were his wife and two sons, a 20-month-old whom JL was carrying, and a four-year-old who was seated between JL and his wife in the back seat.

Their taxi was cruising at about 60 to 70kmh, JL said. All of them had their seat belts on.

Near the Buangkok exit, an SMRT taxi abruptly cut into the right lane of the two-lane road that JL's taxi was on.

To avoid hitting the taxi in front, JL's cabby had to slam on the brakes, jerking the cab violently and waking up his sleeping 20-month- old.

"I wasn't looking at what was going on because I was quite tired but fortunately my wife had seen (what was happening on the road), so she braced our four-year-old for the impact and they weren't hurt," he said, adding that he suffered mild whiplash as a result of the sudden braking.

In a 2½-minute video JL posted on YouTube, the taxi driver can be seen cutting into the lane without signalling and then stepping on the brakes.

The taxi then speeds off and filters back into the left lane.

OVERTAKE

Less than five seconds later, as JL's cabby tries to overtake that same taxi to take the next expressway exit, the driver refuses to give way and cuts in front of JL's cab a second time. He jams his brakes before speeding off.

The entire incident was captured on the TransCab taxi's in-car camera.

The TransCab driver shared the footage with JL, who made a police report.

Mr JL said: "(My escalating of this matter) is not about what happened to me and my family. Rather, it's because I firmly believe drivers like (the SMRT cabby) need to be kept off the roads."

The police confirmed that a report was made and that investigations are ongoing.

The National Taxi Association's executive adviser, Mr Ang Hin Kee, said Singaporeans should not stereotype all cabbies as reckless drivers.

"Most of (the cabbies) I speak to tell me their main focus is earning a living. So getting into an accident, running up penalties or falling ill, these are things they try to avoid because it would mean a loss of income," he said.


This article was first published on February 28, 2015.
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