SINGAPORE,. Ignoring the “No Bicycles” signs placed at the market in Bedok North, hawker stall owner Cai Mei Ying regularly cycled through the compound while travelling to work and back home.
But on September 2016, she collided into an elderly woman, causing the 77-year-old to suffer a fractured hip, which required surgery costing over S$13,000 (RM38,741.67).
Yesterday, the District Court sentenced 49-year-old Cai to two weeks’ jail for causing grievous hurt through a negligent act.
In sentencing Cai, District Judge Jill Tan disagreed with the prosecution’s call for a four week jail term, describing it as “disproportionate” since Cai’s culpability was in the moderate range.
She is not at risk of reoffending as she has stopped cycling within the market’s compound.
However, DJ Tan acknowledged that a jail term would send a deterrent message to cyclists and personal mobility device users that they had to be “extra careful”.
She added: “If they fail to do so, public safety would be at risk.”
The court heard that on the morning of September 22, 2016, Cai — who is a Singaporean — cycled towards a cross junction inside the market located at Block 85, Bedok North Street 4.
A stall owner at the market, she sells bean curd and noodles.
However, Cai failed to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians, and though she applied the bicycle brakes and placed her left foot on the ground, she could not avoid knocking down Ang Ah Soi.
The accident was witnessed by another stall owner.
The bicycle hit Ang’s right leg, causing her to fall backwards onto the ground. She experienced pain in her left leg, and was unable to stand.
An ambulance later conveyed her to Changi General Hospital, where she underwent hip surgery.
Ang had to fork out S$13,723 for the surgery and expenses incurred for follow-up appointments.
Cai has since paid her about S$1,400.
In court, Senior Counsel Loke Vi Ming — who was assigned to represent Cai under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme — argued that his client’s actions did not warrant a jail sentence as the injuries she caused were “not serious”.
Noting that a fine would be sufficient, he said that Cai had stopped cycling to the market, and was deeply remorseful of her actions.
But deputy public prosecutor Christina Koh pointed out that Cai had committed an illegal act by cycling in an area where it was prohibited.
A strong signal needs to be sent that flouting the rules is not tolerated, she said.
In sentencing Cai, Tan also ordered her to pay S$7,000 in compensation to Ang through three instalments.
As the defence and prosecution have yet to confirm whether they will be filing an appeal, Cai’s sentence will be deferred to August 29.
She is currently out on S$8,000 bail.