Asia

E-scooter rider charged over Bedok accident that killed cyclist

SINGAPORE – An e-scooter rider appeared in court on Monday (Nov 11) over his alleged involvement in an accident in Bedok North that killed a cyclist in September.

Hung Kee Boon, 20, was charged with causing the death of logistics assistant packer Ong Bee Eng, 65, by performing a rash act.

He was also handed two charges under the Active Mobility Act.

Madam Ong is believed to be the first fatality from a collision with a personal mobility device (PMD) on a public path here.

She was cycling to her home in Chai Chee Street at around 10pm on Sept 21 after attending a wake, when the accident occurred.

She was unconscious when she was taken to Changi General Hospital.

Madam Ong suffered a serious brain injury, as well as fractures to her ribs and collar bone, and fell into a coma.

She died four days later.

Friends and family had described Madam Ong, a widow with two children and two grandchildren, as a helpful and well-respected woman.

The incident lent traction to calls for a ban on PMDs and e-bikes.

There were 228 reported accidents involving PMDs on public paths in 2017 and last year, with 196 of them resulting in injuries.

Last week, the authorities banned e-scooters from footpaths from Nov 5,  the latest and toughest measure yet to address public safety concerns surrounding their use.

Those caught flouting the rules can be fined up to $2,000 and jailed for up to three months if convicted.

From now until the end of the year, the authorities will mainly issue warnings to errant riders, but a zero-tolerance approach will be taken from next year.

The ban means that e-scooters will be confined to 440km of cycling paths islandwide, instead of the 5,500km of footpaths riders could use before.

If convicted of causing a death by rash riding, Hung can be jailed for up to five years and fined.

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