Woman gets 2 weeks' jail, driving ban for fatal accident

SINGAPORE - A civil servant who caused the death of a motorcyclist in a chain collision along an expressway was sentenced to three weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years on Wednesday (April 27).

Nur Azkiya Ahmad, 34, is appealing against sentence and is out on $15,000 bail.

She had pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Jeremy Lim Yew Leong, 34, by failing to keep a proper lookout for vehicles that had come to a stop due to traffic congestion along Kranji Expressway (KJE) on the morning of March 31 last year.

Court documents say that she swerved her car to the left to avoid a near collision with the front vehicle, which in turn caused her car to swipe Mr Lim's and another motorcycle.

Mr Lim rammed into a car. He was flung to the extreme left lane into the path of a moving prime mover which ran over him.

A district court heard that there was a heavy traffic flow along KPE that day.

Azkiya was driving her Kia car at 80kmh along the extreme right lane. She failed to notice that a red car in front of her and other cars ahead had come to a stop due to traffic congestion.

She then realised this suddenly and applied her brakes. She also swerved her car to the left to avoid hitting the red car and her car hit Mr Lim's motorcycle.

Mr Lim's motorcycle was pushed to the centre lane and hit a car. He was flung off his machine and slid under a prime mover which ran over him on the extreme left lane. He died in hospital about 1½ hours later.

The prosecution had sought a jail term of three to four weeks plus a five-year driving ban.

But Azkiya's lawyer Abdul Jalil urged the court to impose a fine. He argued that the accident was cause partly by other motorists, too, including Mr Lim.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Koh said Azkiya had "demonstrated a high degree of negligence''. She failed to notice stationary vehicles in front of her on an expressway, and thereafter, she reacted without regard for other road users by swerving suddenly .

She said Azkiya was the substantial cause of the accident, and it was unclear how the other vehicles contributed to the outcome .

Agreeing that Azkiya had displayed a high degree of negligence, District Judge Salina Ishak said a prudent and reasonable driver is expected to take reasonable precautions to be able to react to sudden stoppages on the expressway by maintaining a safe distance with the vehicles ahead.

She said in this case, Azkiya had clearly failed to keep a proper lookout for vehicles in front of her.

She said Azkiya collided into not one but two motorcycles. The second charge of causing hurt to the other rider by doing an act so negligent as to endanger life was considered in sentencing.

Azkiya could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for causing death by negligence.


This article was first published on April 28, 2016.
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