Confessions of workshop owner who started taking dad’s van for a spin at 12


AFIQ was only 12 years old when he secretly started taking his father’s van for joyrides.

“My father’s business owned a van and lorry.

“One day, when my parents were out working, I took his van for a spin in our housing area,” said the now 29-year-old, adding that he jumped behind the wheel whenever they were not home.

“I learned about driving by paying close attention when my father and other adults were driving.

“Over time, I learnt how to manoeuvre the van properly,” he told StarMetro, saying that he eventually earned his driver’s licence.

Afiq, who now runs his own car workshop in Johor Baru, also learned how to ride motorcycles.

“Later I learned to ride a motorcycle and I could no longer hide it from my parents.

“They were worried about my safety when they found out.

“My father then told me to use his car instead of using motorcycles because he saw it as a safer option.

“I was also warned not to drive too far by myself, but I never heeded his advice,” he said.

By the age of 16, Afiq started working part-time during school holidays and driving for work.“At that age, it felt like a very adult thing to do, but looking back, it was extremely dangerous,” he said.

“I have been involved in several accidents as a minor but I took it lightly because I did not sustain any major injuries.”

He said he would come up with various excuses if he was stopped.

“My usual go-to excuse was that I had an emergency.

“As far as I can remember, I have only been caught and summoned twice,” he confessed.

He said he was not proud of his past behaviour, especially since he realised how his actions could have led to tragedies.

“I want others to learn from my mistakes.

“I was fortunate that nothing particularly bad happened to me, but that might not be the case for others,” Afiq admitted.

Another who regretted his action of underage riding is Kelvin, although he said it was out of necessity at the time.

“Life was really hard for me and my family at that time.

“My mother was a single mother and I have a younger sister,” said the Johor Baru resident.

Before he was old enough to get a licence, he would use a motorcycle to send his sister to school and for tuition classes when his mother was at work.

“However, if I could turn back time and on hindsight, I would not have done that,” he said.

Kelvin, 37, said he had never been caught while riding without a licence but he had been in minor accidents.

“My former lecturer lost his daughter in a motorcycle accident, and that just destroyed him as he bought the motorcycle. He was racked with guilt for the rest of his life.

“The tragedy opened my eyes to the dangers of riding motorcycles, especially among minors.

“I have since stopped riding motorcycles and have even advised my younger sister against it,” he added.

Last month, Road Transport Department (JPJ) senior enforcement director Datuk Lokman Jamaan said one motorcyclist or pillion rider was killed in an accident every two hours in Malaysia.

He said that last year alone, there were 4,000 deaths involving motorcyclists, which was higher than the figures in 2022.

“This shows just how serious the problem is,” said Lokman.

“We hope road users, especially motorcyclists, are aware of the statistics and take precautions to avoid tragedies,” he told a press conference in March. — By VENESA DEVI

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