Jail for delivery man who rode e-bike down trail and knocked elderly woman down

SINGAPORE: A man was jailed for four days on Thursday May 19 for riding his electric-assist bicycle down a trail, causing an elderly woman to fall and fracture her shoulder.

S Davanand, 33, a part-time Deliveroo rider, pleaded guilty to one count of causing injury by a reckless act that endangers the personal safety of others.

Another charge of riding the e-bike on a trail was considered for sentencing.

On the afternoon of March 30, 2020, the then 72-year-old victim was walking along a path in Lorong 1 Toa Payoh to pick up her granddaughter from school.

At the same time, Davanand was riding his e-bike in the opposite direction on the trail.

The e-bike weighed 20.05 kg, which was slightly above the maximum permissible weight of 20 kg.

Davanand was aware there was heavy foot traffic on the sidewalk as he saw a number of people picking up children from elementary school, the prosecutor said.

However, he continued to ride the e-bike on the sidewalk, passing the victim and not keeping a safe distance from her.

The victim’s umbrella then caught on her electric bicycle and she fell. Her jaw and right shoulder hit the ground and she was dragged along the trail a short distance.

“The collision happened so quickly that the victim didn’t know she had been hit,” Assistant District Attorney Kenny Yang said.

Davanand stopped his electric bike and engaged the victim, before leaving.

A medical report dated May 12, 2020 records a fracture in the woman’s right shoulder.

She raised more than S$17,000 in medical bills, including S$8,000 reimbursed by Deliveroo. The victim paid approximately S$550 after insurance, for which Davanand compensated her.

Both the prosecution and the defense requested a short prison term.

The prosecutor pointed out that Davanand rode his electric bicycle on a crowded path during school closing hours.

He also said the trail was marked with many pillars that would have made it even more dangerous to ride an e-bike near it.

Defense attorney Ashvin Hariharan said his client was riding the bike manually at the time, with no power assistance.

He asked the court to review Davanand’s full restitution of the victim’s disbursements and the signed letter of apology he delivered to the victim.

He also argued that the e-bike was only slightly overweight by 50g and there was no evidence that this led to more serious injuries.

District Judge Melissa Tan said she considered the e-bike’s excess weight as well as Davanand’s first guilty plea and voluntary compensation for the conviction.

For committing a reckless act that endangers the personal safety of others, Davanand could have been jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000 or both.

Earnest L. Veasey