Magistrate releases woman driver involved in fatal Mat Lajak accident

JOHOR BARU: The Magistrate’s Court here has ordered the release of a 24-year-old sales promoter who ploughed her car into a group of teenage cyclists, killing eight of them.

Magistrate Siti Hajar Ali ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Sam Ke Ting, and ordered for her driving licence that was suspended since the day she was charged, along with the RM10,000 bail, to be returned immediately.

In her judgment yesterday, Siti Hajar ruled that the investigations were incomplete and not comprehensive.

“The accused could not be prosecuted based on the failure of the investigation officer to investigate the case properly.

“The accused had the right to drive her car, and had driven her vehicle within the speed limit, was not driving while using her phone, was not drunk, and was using a car seat belt,” she said.

Siti Hajar added that the victims, however, had created an unsafe condition for other road users by being at the location.

“It is impossible for the accused to have predicted the whereabouts of the group of teenagers behind the hill at 3am in the morning.

“The road conditions had also limited the visual distance of the road user,” she said, adding that the group had gathered behind the hill to race on the road that had dim lighting.

She said the victims had also made dangerous modifications to their bicycles by removing the brakes and lowering the seat to the same level as the handlebars.

“The victims also failed to equip themselves with proper safety equipment such as reflective jackets and bicycle helmets.

“The court would also like to take this opportunity to remind parents that they too could be charged under Section 53 of the Child’s Act 2001 for neglecting their child,” she said.

Siti Hajar said the police could take more stern action to eradicate this social issue by issuing summonses to the perpetrators under the Road Traffic Rules 1959.

“The police could also seize these bicycles under Section 112 of the Road Transport Act 1987,” she said.

The case was prosecuted by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Syafiq Muhammad Ghazali, while the accused was represented by Muhammad Faizal Mokhtar.

On Feb 18, 2017, eight teen cyclists were killed when a car driven by the accused ploughed into a group of more than 30 youngsters, who were mostly riding modified bicycles commonly known as basikal lajak.

The incident occurred at around 3.30am along Jalan Lingkaran Dalam near the Mahmoodiah Muslim cemetery.

Eight more cyclists were hospitalised after the incident.

On March 28, 2017, Sam claimed trial to a charge of ramming into the group under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.

The charge carries a jail sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of not more than RM20,000, upon conviction.

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Sam Ke Ting , teenage cyclists , court , Mat Lajak


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