Cabby who reversed into car at junction was not out to scam

This article is more than 12 months old

A taxi driver who was accused online of reversing into a stationary car at a traffic junction as part of an alleged scam had not realised his brakes were not applied as he was distraught over news of a family member's terminal illness, ComfortDelGro said yesterday.

A video posted on Facebook page shows the blue ComfortDelGro cab at the red light of a traffic junction. The cab reverses into the vehicle behind it as captured by the latter's dashboard camera.

Passengers are seen alighting and arguing with the driver of the stationary vehicle and gesturing at the back of the cab and the front of the vehicle.

It is unclear when or where exactly the incident occurred, although the timestamp of the video indicated it was taken at 7.35pm on Tuesday. The video drew comments from netizens who suggested the cabby colluded with the passengers for insurance payouts.

ComfortDelGro spokesman Tammy Tan told The Straits Times that they launched an immediate investigation. They verified that the taxi driver, who was with his family, had just been told that a close family member was terminally ill at the time of the accident.

"His mother, who was in the car with him, was very distraught and when the taxi pulled up at the traffic junction, our cabby reached over to console his mother, thinking that he had engaged the gear into the brake position," Ms Tan said.

However, he had not and the taxi slid backwards as he leaned over. Ms Tan said that the cabby was "deeply apologetic about the incident and has assured us that he will not drive when he is not in the right frame of mind".