If there’s one thing in Singapore that lasts longer than influencer sagas and Taiwanese dramas, it’s the amount of time this particular lorry driver has spent in the spotlight.
And if you’re wondering which driver I’m talking about, I’m talking about this one.
Yup, the saga isn’t over yet, even though it’s been over four years since lorry driver Teo Seng Tiong rammed a cyclist right into a grass patch after the cyclist smashed the lorry’s side mirror along a road in Pasir Ris.
For context, the cyclist decided to cycle in the middle of the road. (And the last time I checked, I don’t think bicycles and cars look like the same thing.)
Teo also honked at the cyclist twice to ask him to give way before losing his temper and swerving right in the cyclist’s direction.
However, beyond that, after being involved in this infamous “Lorry VS Bicycle” incident back in December 2018, it seems like Teo, who was both criticised and lauded after getting back at the inconsiderate cyclist in his own way, is in trouble with the law.
For a different thing, of course.
Here’s what happened.
Lorry Driver Charged Again for Driving While Disqualified and Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Back then, the court disqualified Teo from driving for two years after the “Lorry VS Bicycle” incident.
He was also fined $500 and jailed for seven weeks (and ended up being compensated because he was jailed for two days more than he should’ve been due to an administrative mistake), but that’s not the point.
Regarding his driving disqualification, he was not allowed to drive from 24 August 2020 to 23 August 2022.
But… He did.
During the disqualification period, Teo was allegedly found driving a lorry illegally along Upper Serangoon Road towards Sengkang East Drive at 1.04 pm on 31 July 2022.
Apart from that, he was not wearing a seatbelt while driving and did not buy third-party insurance either.
Charged in Court Yesterday
After being caught, Teo was charged in court yesterday (18 January).
In court, Teo was charged with two charges under the Road Traffic Act and one charge under the Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation)
Teo, a fish farm owner, appeared in court in a blue coloured shirt and was unaccompanied by others.
He also looked slimmer than he did a few years ago.
When his name was called in court, he calmly walked towards the defendant’s dock before telling the judge via the interpreter that he intended to plead guilty.
On the other hand, the prosecution claimed that investigations for the case have yet to conclude and requested an extension of four weeks.
Upon hearing that, Teo expressed through the interpreter that the police have already been investigating his case since August 2022.
However, the judge approved the prosecution’s request.
Teo was also offered bail of $15,000 and will return to court on 15 January.
After the hearing, Teo left the courtroom by himself.
If convicted of driving during the disqualified period, Teo may face up to a $10,000 fine, three years in prison, or both.
The court will also decide how long to disqualify Teo from driving based on the laws in place.
He might even face a lifetime driving ban.
Lost Appeals in Previous Case
Back then, during the “Lorry VS Bicycle” incident, both Teo and Eric Cheung, the cyclist, were charged in court in 2020, around two years after the incident.
While Cheung got away with a fine of $2,800 for mischief and violation of road traffic regulations, Teo ended up with charges relating to causing hurt by rash driving and failing to make a police report within 24 hours of the accident.
Although he did not plead guilty at first, he was ultimately found guilty.
Teo then appealed against the decision, but his appeal was ultimately dismissed (by a judge who spoke Singlish in court. Yup, it’s legit. Not clickbait.)
Thereafter, he was compensated and received a public apology from the States Courts after an administrative mistake caused him to be jailed for two days more than his actual jail term.
The admin mistake arose after a wrong record showed that Teo did not pay the fine when he actually did.
Lost Appeal Again
Afterwards, he submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court and said that past offences that he had paid the fines for should not have counted towards his sentence.
He also requested that his driving ban be reduced to under a year.
However, his appeal was ultimately rejected.
Involved in Other Offences
During the “Lorry VS Bicycle” saga, it was also revealed that Teo had been charged with multiple traffic offences in the past.
His charges, which he began receiving in 2000, include speeding, careless driving, failing to conform to a red-light signal and failing to give way to an approaching vehicle.
Beyond the road, Teo has also been found guilty of other grave offences, such as voluntarily causing hurt by a dangerous weapon in 1988, an obscene act in 1993, affray in 1999, insulting a woman’s modesty in 2007 and voluntarily causing hurt in 2012.
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