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Filipino who hit pedestrian with car fined for lesser offense

16 April 2024

Bernandino was fined for the lighter offence of careless driving

A Filipino who hit a pedestrian with the car he was driving, causing injuries that required hospital treatment, got off with a fine of $4,000 after he was acquitted of the charge of dangerous driving.

Instead, B. Bernandino, 63 years old, was convicted of careless driving -- a charge to which he pleaded guilty last Jan. 11 when originally asked how he would plea, but was rejected by the prosecution.

In his verdict today at the Shatin Court after a trial held in March, Magistrate David Chum gave weight to the opinion of an expert who testified that Bernandino was driving within the speed limit and the accident happened suddenly.


He noted the expert’s opinion that Bernandino’s only fault was that he did not extend his head far enough to see ahead of his car as he was rounding the corner at Hau Tei Square in Tsuen Wan, New Territories, on April 6, 2023.

He was also driving his car close to the curb.

As a result, he did not see pedestrian Wong Lai-kiu early enough and hit him, causing “grievous bodily harm” that resulted in treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.


In mitigation, his lawyer said that since Bernandino got his license in 1999, he has never had a traffic violation conviction, except for being made to pay fixed penalty fines.

The lawyer said Bernandino is a permanent resident, works as a civil engineer and is active in various community and church groups.

He supports his wife and three children in Hong Kong, as well as relatives in the Philippines, including his father who has cancer, the lawyer added.

With Chum’s decision, Bernandino got his driving license back, as well as the $1,000 balance from his $5,000 bail.

When asked about the points deduction on Bernandino’s license as a result of the accident, Magistrate Chum said, “I don’t have the authority to do that.”


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