Road Rage is a common case to hear in Singapore. In January of 2017, an online interview by Channel NewsAsia revealed that out of the 800 respondents questioned, a majority had voted reckless driving as one of the main causes of irritation when driving on the road. For a long while, now Singaporean drivers are known to have ‘zero chill’ attitude on the road. So, imagine one fine day, you are peacefully driving your silver chromed Toyota Vios and when all of a sudden, a car changes lane without signalling. You don’t have enough time to react and crashes with said car. The driver angrily steps out and begins pummeling you to the ground. As you lay down bruised and bleeding in the middle of the road, you wonder, how best can you get back at this man. Fret not, this article will acquaint you more with what you have just experienced. Road rage.
What is Road Rage
A traffic accident is considered a road rage only when there is physical hurt to a certain degree involved. In actuality, there is no specific law under road rage. There are, however, several actions that either alone or together, would constitute as acts of road rage. Acts that can be classified as road rage would usually include:
a) Voluntarily Causing Hurt (VCH)
VCH can be understood as an act where someone has the intention to and causes bodily pain, disease or sickness to someone. For example, if you were to knowingly punch someone in the face, you would have committed an act of VCH. Anyone who causes VCH shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine which may extend to $5,000, or with both.
b) Voluntarily Causing Grievous Hurt (VCGH)
VCGH, on the other hand, is not the same as VCH. The difference between the two offences is that grievous hurt is a more severe kind of hurt. Anything from a bone fracture, permanent loss of a body organ, or permanent disfiguration of the head or face can be considered as VCGH. Let’s say you banged into another car on the road and the driver comes out of his car in displeasure and begins punching you. If you were to go to a doctor and they discover that you sustained a fractured arm from the incident, for example, the driver would have committed an act of VCGH. Anyone who causes VCGH shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine or for caning.
c) VCH by Dangerous means or with dangerous weapons
VCH by dangerous means would simply mean to cause hurt onto someone by use of a weapon or dangerous methods. Normal everyday items as a knife or scissors to name a few can be classified as a dangerous weapon if it were to be used to hurt someone. Even letting out a dangerous animal would be considered as VCH by dangerous means. If found guilty of VCH by dangerous weapons or dangerous means, the punishment is imprisonment of up to 7 years and shall also be liable to a fine and/or a caning.
Affray is when 2 or more person disturbs the public peace by fighting in a public place such as on the road or sidewalk. In PP v Soh Beng Chuan, the accused was sentenced to 2 weeks imprisonment for wounding a fellow road user when the latter unknowingly turned into a one-way road. The two parties eventually got out of their vehicles and began exchanging blows. As such anyone who commits a crime of affray shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to $5,000, or with both.
What Do I Do Next?
You should inform the police of your situation. Offences such as VCGH, VCH by dangerous means or dangerous weapons, and affray, are arrestable offences. What this means is that a police officer can arrest the person in question without a warrant. These kinds of cases will almost certainly be pursued and the offender will be charged in a Court of Law. That said, VCH is a non-arrestable offence. An arrest cannot be made without a warrant. As such, you must first make a police report of the incident, together with any medical reports of the injury that you may have received from the incident. You can then submit a Magistrate’s Complaint, together with a copy of your police report to the Complaints Counter of the Crime Registry. The Magistrate will then decide whether to issue a warrant for the perpetrator’s arrest and pursue the matter.
How Can We Help You
Cases involving road rage can be delicate for you to deal alone. At I.R.B Law LLP we have experienced Criminal Litigation Lawyers who are passionate about justice and fairness. Our lawyers will be able to guide you through Singapore’s Criminal Justice System and each and every stage of the proceedings. We firmly believe that everyone should be entitled to a second chance and be allowed the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and live life anew. Should you be in a position where you may need our assistance, please do not hesitate and contact us at Hello@irblaw.com.sg or call us at 6589 8913 so that we can advise you on your matter. The information contained in this article is provided for general information only and may not reflect current status in relation to applicable law, cases, settlements or judgements. Nothing contained on this website or article is intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be construed as I.R.B Law LLP agreeing to provide legal services to you. You acknowledge and agree that your use of this website shall not create a lawyer-client relationship with I.R.B Law LLP.