Singapore car dealer gets jail, fine over illegal street race, 150-car gathering in breach of Covid-19 laws

Yeo Jing Cheng (pictured) organised an illegal street race and went on a joyride against Covid-19 laws. — TODAY pic
Yeo Jing Cheng (pictured) organised an illegal street race and went on a joyride against Covid-19 laws. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, May 24 — After organising a mass gathering of car owners that later turned into an illegal street race, Yeo Jing Cheng was hauled to court but his offending did not stop there.

He then joined another group of drivers in a joyride around Singapore when the circuit breaker was in force last year to restrict people from leaving their homes for non-essential purposes to limit the spread of Covid-19.

For his multiple offences, Yeo, 31, was today jailed for four weeks, fined S$4,000 (RM12,483) and disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for two years.

He was a car dealer at the time and drove a Volkswagen Jetta.

Yeo had pleaded guilty last month to four charges, including an offence under the Infectious Diseases (Measures to Prevent Spread of Covid-19) Regulations 2020, which came into force on March 27 last year, a day before his street car event.

He will begin serving his jail sentence on June 25 and remains out on bail.

The court heard that Yeo organised the gathering of drivers, which started at 11pm on March 28, because he wanted to network with people for his car dealing business.

He started organising the event earlier that month by designing a digital poster invitation and sending it to two chat groups for car enthusiasts a few days before the event.

The invitation stated that “any cars are welcomed” and that they would move off from East Coast Park at midnight with the route to be disclosed only on the night itself.

This was one day after the Government had banned non-essential gatherings of more than 10 individuals to curb the spread of Covid-19.

On the day of the event, more than 150 cars showed up, by Yeo’s own estimate.

Yeo then disseminated information to the drivers for them to drive in a convoy to a petrol kiosk at Jalan Buroh, in the western part of Singapore.

While at Jalan Buroh, he heard from other drivers that there was another gathering taking place at Tuas and joined that convoy as well.

By 12.30am on March 29, his car was parked along with some others along the road at Tuas South Boulevard, where a few drivers took part in an illegal street race.

Traffic police officers got wind of illegal street racing and illegally modified cars at about 2am and arrived to find more than 100 cars parked along the road, with their drivers and passengers mingling with each other.

Everyone started trying to drive off upon seeing the police, but the traffic police quickly blocked the roads and Yeo was among those who was stopped for further questioning.

Yeo was charged on April 9 that year.

Then, when he was out on bail, he reoffended a month later.

When chatting with two friends at a coffee shop in Woodlands at around 11pm on May 15, he heard that some others would be going “rounding” — that is, taking part in a joy ride. He then asked another friend along.

A group of at least 11 cars were part of the convoy that night when they drove along four expressways, including the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE).

Investigations revealed that the group was driving above the speed limit of 80km/h along an 11km stretch of the MCE and KPE tunnel until they exited onto the Tampines Expressway.

The afternoon after the joyride, Yeo removed his white Volkswagen Jetta’s GT-wing spoiler — an accessory that is fitted to the boot lid — after seeing that a video of a convoy he joined had been published on the “SG Road Vigilante” Facebook page.

When a police officer asked him about his involvement that night, he denied knowing any of the drivers and said that the white car captured on video was not his, adding that his car’s GT-wing spoiler had been removed “long ago”.

He could have been jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$10,000 for flouting Covid-19 regulations.

For driving at a speed that was dangerous to the public, he could have been jailed for up to 12 months or fined up to S$5,000, or both. He could also have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for life or for such a period as the court may think fit.

For obstructing the course of justice, he could have been jailed for up to seven years or fined, or both. — TODAY

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