Public Prosecutor v Ng Yat Chye @ Mohd Emran Bin Abdullah

JurisdictionSingapore
JudgeChristopher Goh Eng Chiang
Judgment Date18 January 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGDC 17
Year2001
Published date19 September 2003
Citation[2001] SGDC 17
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)

JUDGMENT:

Grounds of Decision

1. The accused claimed trail to one charge for speeding under section 63(1) of the Road Traffic Act, Cap 276. The charge is set out below ;

1st Charge

" that you, Ng Yat Chye @ Mohd Emran B Abdullah, are charged that you on 16th November 1999 at about 12.54 am along Pan Island Expressway in the direction of Jurong Road, Singapore, did drive lorry No. YH3906D at a speed of 123kmph, such speed being in excess of the imposed speed limit of 50kmph of the vehicle and you have thereby committed an offence under section 63(1) and punishable under section 131(1)(a) of the Road Traffic Act, Cap 276"

THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION

i

. Evidence of PW1

2. PW1 is one SSG Zulkan s/o Ali Hassan attached to the Surveillance Camera Unit, Traffic Police. He confirmed that the speed camera along the Pan Island Expressway (PIE), 22 km mark, in the direction of Jurong was loaded on 9 November 1999 at 12.25 pm and unloaded on 16 November 1999 at 11.04 am.

3. PW1 confirmed that exhibit P2 was the photograph taken by the said camera. He then interpreted the numbers on the photographs. The number "1999" indicated the year, "9009 the camera code, "123" the vehicle speed, "16" and "11" the date and month respectively which the photograph was taken and "05405" indicating the time (i.e. 0054 hrs and 5 secs). Therefore, the photo, as interpreted by PW1, shows that the vehicle was travelling at 123 kmph on 16 November 1999 at 12.54 am along the said stretch of the road

ii

. Evidence of PW2

4. PW2 is W/SSG Esah Bte Dolah, the investigation officer. She ascertained during the course of investigations that the speed limit of the vehicle, YH5906D in the photograph was 50 kmph.

iii

. Evidence of PW3

5. PW3 is SSG Abdul Rashid attached to the Traffic Police. He had ascertained that the owner of the vehicle was the Singapore Turf Club (STC). The STC provided the particulars of the person who was driving the vehicle that evening as being one Ng Yat Chye @ Mohd Emran B Abdullah who resided in at B348 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

iv

. Evidence of PW4

6. PW4 is one Lim Tian Pong who is a technician by training and runs his own company. His business consists of installing, repairing and servicing speed cameras in Singapore. He is thus familiar with the technical aspect of the speed cameras used by the Traffic Police. He had been trained in Switzerland on this equipment. In addition, he also had three months of local training from the manufacturers of the cameras, Multinova in all aspects of the system.

7. Mr Lim emphaised that the actual camera is just one component of the whole system. The system has a pre-determined speed limit (e.g. 80 kmph or 90 kmph as the case may be). The system will only capture an offending vehicle on film if it exceeds this preset limit and not the speed limit of the vehicle.

8. Once a vehicle is detected travelling at a speed above the preset limit for a distance of at least 2 metres, the system will conduct a self test taking 0.2 seconds. The system then determines the speed of the vehicle. Once this is done, the system will re-confirm the speed. Mr Lim also informed the Court that the system employs 2 separate methods to confirm and re-confirm the speed of a moving vehicle. Once this speed has been re-confirmed, the camera takes a photo of the speeding vehicle and the relevant information is then superimposed on the photograph.

9. Mr Lim also gave evidence that if a vehicle is detected exceeding the speed limit, and a second vehicle enters the systems range and interferes in the determination of the 1st vehicles speed and the system detects an error of more than 3%, a photograph will not be taken. If this error is less than 3%, a photograph of both vehicles will be taken. The second vehicle will interfere with the systems readings if it enters the systems range within 0.2 seconds of the first vehicle. The system will then register 2 readings.

10. The camera is fixed at a set angle and is unable to move or swivel. Therefore, on the lane closest to the camera (i.e. rightmost lane), the stretch of road covered by the camera is less than the lane furthest away from the camera. However, Mr Lim maintains that the camera will still be able to detect a vehicle exceeding the speed limit on the extreme right lane. Mr Lim mentioned that it was his understanding that in the event that 2 vehicles are captured in a photograph, a benefit of a doubt will be given to them

11. Based on the exhibit P2, he was of the opinion that the speed detection system was in working condition. Further, he was also of the opinion that it was not possible that there was another vehicle travelling at a speed of 123kmph that triggered the system, instead of the vehicle captured in the photograph tendered into Court.

CLOSE OF PROSECUTIONS CASE

12. The Defence made no submissions at this stage of the proceedings. Accordingly, pursuant to the procedures and guidelines laid down in PP v Haw Tua Tau [1981] 2 MLJ 49, I was of the view that there was some evidence (not inherently incredible), which if the Court would accept as accurate, establish each essential ingredient of the offence. I called upon the accused to enter his defence in respect of the charge. After I administered the standard allocution, the accused chose to give evidence.

THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE

i

. Evidence of DW1

13. The accused is one Ng Yat Chye @ Mohd Emran B Abdullah. He works as a driver for the STC for 7 years. His job is to drive the vehicle to pick up racehorses at the airport and bring them to their destination. The vehicle is known as a "float" and there are 6 of them in Singapore.

14. Due to the nature of the cargo, drivers have special instructions to drive slowly as the horses would be in a standing position in the rear of the vehicle. Corners have to be taken carefully and they would have to be very careful when applying the emergency brake as it may cause the racehorses to fall and injure themselves. If the racehorses are injured, the driver responsible may get a warning letter or even suspended. To date, he has never been warned, fined or suspended.

15. There are a total of 12 drivers in STC with two assigned to each vehicle, a driver and a co-driver. They will take turns to drive the vehicle. On the day in question, the accused, together with his co-driver, one Mr Wong (PW4), had gone to Changi Airport to collect 6 new horses for a scheduled race and were returning to STC. One Mr Samsudin (DW2) was also in the vehicle.

16. At the time in question, he was driving the vehicle along the PIE in the direction of Jurong and heading towards STC via the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE). He was nearing the exit of the PIE into the BKE, just after the speed camera, when he suddenly...

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