Yan Kwok Yung

Before: H H Judge Geiser

Date: 27 October 2010 at 2.30 pm

Present: Mr Winston Chan, SPP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Tim Wong, instructed by Messrs Yip, Tse & Tang, for the Defendant

Offence: Causing death by dangerous driving (危險駕駛引致他人死亡)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to a single charge of causing death by dangerous driving contrary to section 36(1) of the Road Traffic Ordinance, Cap. 374, Laws of Hong Kong.

2. The incident occurred at approximately 8 minutes past 11 on Sunday morning, 28 February 2010. You were driving your taxi alongNam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, travelling eastbound. The traffic condition at the time was very light. This sectionof Nam Cheong Street is long and straight; there are three lanes, visibility was very good and the road conditions dry.

3. At the time, you had three passengers in your taxi. There came a point in time when a pedestrian, a 68-year-old man, walked outof the park and crossed the third and second lanes of the road, in order. You were approaching in the first lane; there was no trafficeither in front or behind you. The road was clear. The pedestrian reached the dividing line between the first and second lanes. He stopped and hesitated. You anticipated that the pedestrian would continue to cross into the first lane and so you swerved yourtaxi sharply from the first lane into the second lane, without slowing down at all.

4. You anticipated wrongly because at that very moment the pedestrian remained standing in the dividing line between the first andsecond lanes. You were unable to avoid the pedestrian and the front near side of your taxi collided with the pedestrian, knockinghim over with fatal consequences.

5. I have taken the opportunity of viewing the CCTV footage, which captured the course of this unfortunate accident. And whilst Iaccept that there is no evidence that you were speeding at the time, it is quite apparent that you were driving much too quicklyin order to avoid the pedestrian. You would have had a very clear view of the pedestrian for quite some time prior to the collision,but failed to slow down in order to let him continue to cross the road safely.

6. You are 29 years of age and married. I am told that due to this incident you have ceased work as a taxi driver and now work asa part-time decorator. You have a number of previous criminal convictions and traffic convictions, two of which I note are for carelessdriving.

7. The legislature has, in order to reflect the seriousness of this particular offence, recently increased the maximum sentence onconviction on indictment from 5 years to 10 years’ imprisonment. As far as offences of this nature are concerned, I find thiscase to come toward the lower end of the scale. Nonetheless, you have unnecessarily caused the death of another by reason of thisaccident which, had you been driving in an appropriate manner, would have been totally avoidable.

8. In sentencing you, I take account of all that has been said on your behalf by way of mitigation. I take as my starting point asentence of two and a half years’ imprisonment. I will discount that by one-third to take account of your plea of guilty, comingto 20 months’ imprisonment. In addition, you will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for all classesof vehicles for a period of two years.

H H Judge Geiser
District Judge