CERTIS officers on parking enforcement duties: 6 hit-and-run cases a year

PHOTO: The New Paper

Unhappy after being told by a Certis Cisco officer to move his illegally-parked van, the driver drove off in a huff.

But as the vehicle moved out of the carpark, which is only for season parking ticket holders, it allegedly sideswiped response officer Selver Kumar Muniandy, 37, and hit his left arm.

He thought it was an accident at first.

But he was horrified when the driver allegedly hit him again.

Certis Cisco said that about six hit-and-run cases involving its on-duty officers are reported every year.

It added that Mr Selver Kumar's case was the sixth such incident this year.

Certis Cisco said its enforcement officers perform an important role to ensure orderly parking and urged motorists to respect them.

It added that in land-scarce Singapore, illegal parking is a perennial issue and a challenge.

A Certis Cisco spokesman said: "This situation can only be improved if everyone plays their part.

"Please remember (that these officers) are also part of someone's family."

Besides Certis Cisco, officers from other agencies, including the Land Transport Authority, also perform parking enforcement duties.

Mr Selver Kumar has been a Certis Cisco officer for 19 months and attends to cases involving illegal parking. He patrols areas such as Toa Payoh and Whampoa.

Recalling the sideswiping incident, which happened at around 12.30pm on Nov 12, Mr Selver Kumar said he was working at an open-air carpark near Block 668, Chander Road, in Little India, when he spotted a white van illegally parked on a double yellow line.

Speaking to The New Paper last Thursday, the father of two children aged six and eight, approached the driver, who was standing beside the van, and politely asked him to move the vehicle.

The driver replied that he would only park there for a few minutes as he wanted to buy a top-up card for his mobile phone.

Mr Selver Kumar said: "I calmly told him that he still had to move his van. He suddenly took out a $10 note and asked me to buy the card for him.

ANNOYED

"He looked annoyed when I told him I couldn't do that as I was still working. He frowned and entered his vehicle."

Mr Selver Kumar said that as the van was driving away, it sideswiped him and hit his left arm.

Then it stopped for a few seconds before sideswiping and hitting his arm again.

He added: "He hit me a second time and this time, I felt a sharp pain in my arm. I knew then that he had hit me on purpose."

Mr Selver Kumar said he walked towards the front of the van to talk to the driver.

He said: "The driver stopped the vehicle, wound down his window and shouted, 'Move lah! I want to go out!' before driving away."

He did not manage to note down the van's licence plate number, but called his Certis Cisco leader about the incident. The leader told him to inform the police and go to a clinic.

When a police officer arrived about 10 minutes later, Mr Selver Kumar told the officer what had happened.

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

He said: "My arm hurt every time my bike vibrated as I was riding to the clinic. Luckily, I was not badly hurt, only some tenderness in my left arm. I was given two days' medical leave."

To help reduce the number of such hit-and-run cases, Certis Cisco said it regularly briefs its officers on the importance of road safety and reminds them to ride safely.

It also arranges biannual talks on road safety for its officers.

Responding to queries from TNP, the police said there have been 67 hit-and-run cases in the first six months of this year. There were 69 such cases in the first half of last year.

Mr Selver Kumar said he now feels nervous whenever he approaches the drivers of illegally-parked vehicles to tell them to move.

He said: "I was only slightly injured in the incident last month. I don't know if I will be just as lucky next time.

"I would like to tell motorists that Certis Cisco response officers like me are just doing our jobs."

Taxi collided with his motorcycle, stopped, then...

He was on his rounds on Bedok North Street 2 on his motorcycle on the afternoon of Oct 13 when his bike collided with a taxi.

Certis Cisco auxiliary police officer (APO) Mogankumar Muthukumar, 32, told The New Paper that he fell off his bike.

He added: "I'm sure it was an accident because after I was hit, the driver stopped about 50m away from me and stepped out."

APO Mogankumar, whose duties included issuing summons for illegal parking, said the driver was a slim man in his 50s.

He added: "He looked worried. I told him to stop, but he replied in Mandarin. I didn't understand what he was saying.

"After that, he re-entered his taxi and drove away. I didn't note down his licence plate number."

He phoned his supervisor about the incident and made a police report after he was advised to do so.

The police confirmed that report had been lodged.

APO Mogankumar said that even though he is fine now, he suffered pain in his right knee for two days after the incident. He did not seek medical treatment as he was not badly injured.

Police: Offence if you don't stop and help

Motorists involved in accidents where people are injured should stop and help, said the Traffic Police.

For instance, motorists could call for an ambulance.

"If the vehicle owner is not present at the scene, the motorist should take reasonable steps to inform the owner of the accident, such as leaving a note on the windscreen of the damaged vehicle.

"Unless the motorist is able to establish contact with the vehicle owner, the motorist should lodge a police report as soon as it is practical to do so within 24 hours," the Traffic Police added.

Failure to so is an offence.

First-time offenders can be jailed up to a year or fined up to $3,000. Repeat offenders can be jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

ashaffiq@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on November 24, 2015.
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