Think twice before speeding

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A YOUNG man who drove his father's car which skidded and plunged into a ditch and hit a tree, killing two of his rear seat passengers and injuring a third, was fined a total of $10,500 on Monday.

Phua Jia Chee, 20, was also banned from driving for five years.

He had pleaded guilty earlier to causing the deaths of Nanyang Polytechnic students David Li Zhensen, 18, and Mervin Teo Chong Ming, 20, through his negligence at Old Thomson Road on Jan 29.

He also admitted to causing hurt to front seat passenger Tan Han Leng, 20, at about 11.40pm that day.

He was negotiating a bend when he caused the Mitsubishi Lancer to veer left and off the road proper, plunging into the ditch and hitting a tree.

David was extricated from the wreckage car and was pronounced dead about an hour later while Mervin died about two hours later in hospital.

Han Leng, also a Nanyang Polytechnic student, suffered minor bruises and cuts on his left palm and forearm and left ring finger. He was discharged from hospital two days later.

Two other charges of failing to ensure that his rear seat passengers were belted were taken into consideration.

Pleading for leniency, his lawyer, Mr Lim Tiang Yao, said the Republic Polytechnic graduate had been racked with distress and remorse over the loss of lives of his two close friends.

Phua, he said, deeply regretted the horrendous consequences that had arisen due to a momentary lapse of judgment which cause the car to veer off the road and hit a tree.

He said Phua was not speeding at the time, had learnt his lesson about the perils of negligence, and cooperated fully with the police.

An only child, Phua hoped to continue further studies after his national service, he said.

Phua could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for causing death. For causing hurt, the maximum penalty is a $500 fine and/or six months' jail.


Youngsters, teenagers around my age always have the tendency to floor the pedal or negotiate tight corners with speed; either to show off his skills with his friends on board or thinks that his/her driving style is above average. If you have been doing it due to the latter reason, do you know that 80% of drivers think that their driving style are above average? I think its quite obvious what I am trying to put across here. And on the other hand, if its due to the former reason, do you know what is the passenger's priority when travelling? Safety! By riding on your car, he/she is places her own safety in your hand (and foot). So the last thing you want to do is to endanger their lives!

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