In a recent court decision, a 45-year-old teacher, David Chang Hao Hsi, faced legal consequences for causing a collision with an elderly motorcyclist. Chang, who was teaching at CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School at the time of the accident, pleaded guilty to causing hurt to another person while driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.
The incident, which occurred on February 24, 2022, resulted in injuries to the 75-year-old motorcyclist, including rib fractures, according to The Straits Times.
The Incident and Legal Consequences
Chang’s legal troubles arose from failing to keep a proper lookout while making a left turn from the slip road of Lorong 1 Toa Payoh into Lorong 6 around 6:45 am. The collision transpired as Chang’s car encroached into the path of the elderly motorcyclist. The court, recognizing the severity of the offence, fined Chang $2,300 and imposed a 15-month disqualification from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences.
Chang’s defence lawyer, Foo Ho Chew, highlighted the stormy weather conditions at the time of the accident, with heavy rain affecting visibility. The unlit surroundings combined with the inclement weather contributed to poor visibility for Chang. The court considered these factors in its decision. Despite the circumstances, Chang promptly took the injured motorcyclist to the hospital, where the victim remained hospitalized for three days.
Ministry of Education’s Response
The Ministry of Education (MOE) expressed its serious view on staff misconduct and affirmed its commitment to taking disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to its standards of conduct and discipline. An MOE spokesperson stated that disciplinary proceedings would follow if deemed necessary after the court case concluded.
In the mitigation plea, Chang’s lawyer emphasized his client’s remorse and the challenging conditions during the accident. Chang, displaying a responsible attitude, has since sold his car and made the decision to abstain from driving. The court acknowledged Chang’s remorseful stance and took these factors into account in determining the legal consequences.