Driver jailed over death of motorcyclist at toll booth

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2012, 12:00am


A mother was jailed for eight months yesterday for dangerous driving causing death after her car ran over a British motorcyclist at the toll booth of Tate's Cairn Tunnel last year.

Chow Siu-fong, 41, a clerk, also had her licence suspended for two years and was fined HK$6,000.

Sentencing Chow in District Court, Deputy Judge Chan Wing-ho said she was 'extremely negligent' and her driving skill was 'far inferior' to that of an experienced driver.

The court heard that at 9.31am on July 3 last year she approached the toll booth at Sha Tin without stopping or slowing down and hit the Honda 600cc motorcycle in front of her at a speed of 35km/h.

Her seven-seater Toyota crushed the rider, Simon James Ransom, 38, who had just stopped to pay the toll.

Chan adopted a starting point of 15 months for the sentence but reduced it because Chow pleaded guilty and had a clean background. Ransom, a freelance businessman who had travelled from the mainland to Hong Kong with his girlfriend, was certified dead at Prince of Wales Hospital with multiple injuries to his ribs, lungs and liver.

In mitigation, defending counsel Caesar Lo Chi-lam said that as Chow approached the toll booth, she was distracted by a complaint from her nine-year-old son, who was in one of the back seats.

But prosecutor Thomas Iu said this was the first he had heard of any complaint.

He said: '[Her driving] was simply dangerous. The speed was wrong with or without the distraction.'

Lo also said Chow, who acquired her licence in 2009, lacked driving experience as she had only been driving a car at weekends since 2010.

She was remorseful and had decided not to drive again, he said.

Apart from the dangerous driving charge, Chow also pleaded guilty to using a vehicle with a DVD player display panel, dark-tinted windows and a registration plate on which the numbers were too tightly spaced.