Singapore

DPP: ‘Jail terms should be the norm when dangerous driving causes injury’

Jail terms ought to be the norm in cases where serious damage or injuries occur as a result of dangerous driving, the prosecution argued yesterday as it urged the High Court to lay down sentencing guidelines for such offences.

Fines should be appropriate only in cases that have not ended in accidents - or where only minor damage or injury has been inflicted - and there are no other compelling reasons for stronger deterrent sentencing, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Francis Ng.

This would reflect Parliament's intentions when it enhanced the maximum sentences for dangerous driving more than two decades ago, he said.

The recommendations came in the prosecution's appeal yesterday against a lorry driver initially fined $3,000 for running a red light and knocking down a pedestrian, who suffered serious head injuries.

Justice See Kee Oon agreed with prosecutors to replace the fine with a one-week jail term.

The driving ban was lengthened from 11 months to 18 months.

The judge said he would set out his full grounds at a later date.

Citing Traffic Police statistics, DPP Ng noted that in 2015, the number of traffic accidents resulting in injuries increased to 8,058 from 7,809 the year before.

The number went up even further last year to 8,277, which works out to 22 accidents a day that resulted in injuries.

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