FDH hit by bus outside World-Wide House convicted of negligence

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The busy corner of Pedder Street and Des Voeux Road in Central (Photo: Google Maps)

 

A 46-year-old domestic worker who was hit by a bus outside World-Wide House in Central was ordered this afternoon to pay a fine of $300.

Eastern Deputy Magistrate Selma Masood found Marivic P.M. guilty of the offense of “pedestrian negligence” or negligently endangering one’s own life or those of others while on the road.

Besides Marivic, two passengers inside the bus that hit her were also injured in the accident.

Judge Masood said that even if Marivic’s defense were true—that the green light for pedestrians was still blinking when she crossed the street—she would still be at fault.

“According to the Road Users Code in Hong Kong, a flashing green man light means you must not start to cross the road and you should wait in the pavement near the curb,” the judge said in her verdict.

Although Marivic was convicted after trial, Judge Masood still reduced her fine from $500 to $300 because of her clear record.

She also gave Marivic seven days to pay the fine since her employers, who had supported her, are currently out of Hong Kong.

The judge also had to assist Marivic during her trial today because she had no lawyer. The Duty Lawyer Service, which is similar to the Public Attorney’s Office in the Philippines, does not handle cases involving traffic summonses.

The prosecution said the incident happened at around 4 p.m. on April 6, 2018, a Friday, at the corner of Pedder Street and Des Voeux Road in Central.

Marivic said she was in hurry to cross Des Voeux Road to catch the tram to Wan Chai market because her employer had told her to buy some food.

The domestic worker was crossing the road from the side of Citibank going to the direction of World-Wide House.

She said the green light for pedestrians was still blinking and she saw a man and a boy ahead of her and so she hurried to cross the road before the light turned red.

But then a Citybus, taking route No. 930 from Wan Chai to Tsuen Wan, hit her. The bus’s left windshield cracked and Marivic was thrown off by four to five meters, according to a witness.

The bus driver told the court that the traffic light for vehicles had turned green and so he drove his bus, at a speed of 26 kilometers per hour, when the domestic worker suddenly crossed the street.

“A pedestrian came out. She dashed out in front of the vehicle. I immediately stepped on the break (but) a collision occurred,” said driver, adding that the accident happened in just one or two seconds.

The bus driver, who had been driving for 28 years with two traffic violation convictions, said he got off the bus and checked on the injuries of the defendant, who was lying on the road.

“I think the right side of her head and right arm were hit,” the driver said.

Marivic said she still has hearing diffulties up to now.

The dricer said he then called the police after checking on his two injured bus passengers.

Another prosecution witness, H.T. Yuen, told the court that he was also waiting to cross Des Voeux Road from the side of Citibank that afternoon—he said the pedestrian light was already red—when he saw Marivic cross the street.

“She was walking towards the direction of World-Wide House. I saw she had her head lowered and did not look to the right,” the witness said.

“It looked like there was something in her hand but I was not able to see what it was,” he added.

Marivic denied that she was using her mobile phone while she was crossing the street.

“That’s strange because the police told me when I woke up that they took my phone from my pouch bag to dial the number of my employer,” she said, also insisting that the traffic light for pedestrians was still blinking green during the time of the accident.

Marivic also complained that the police failed to produce the CCTV footage of the accident. She noted that there were many CCTV cameras in the area.

But Judge Masood said the police had investigated the scene of the incident but they were not able to find CCTV footage of the accident.

“There is CCTV but it does not depict or show the area where the accident happened,” she said.

“Unfortunately, there was also no camera on the bus,” she added.

In her ruling, Judge Masood agreed with the testimony of the bus driver and the passenger.

“I found as a fact that when the defendant crossed the junction, the light was indeed red. I was satisfied that the charge was proven beyond reasonable doubt,” the judge said.

“I found that the defendant had no reasonable excuse to fail to follow the red light. Even if the defendant’s version of the event was taken—that the blinking green man was flashing—according to the Road Users’ Code in Hong Kong, a flashing green man light means that you must not start to cross the road,” she added.

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