Senate OKs bigger motorcycle plates to deter riding-in-tandems
MANILA, Philippines – Voting 21-0, the Senate approved on final reading the bill requiring bigger license plates for motorcycles and scooters for easy identification and crime prevention.
Senate Bill 1397 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017 seeks to require the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to issue bigger and reflectorized plates to deter motorcycle-riding criminals from easily getting away.
"Motorcycles have become crime machines. With their small plate numbers, criminals perpetrating crimes while on board motorcycles easily flee from the scene of the crime, and usually there are no witnesses who can read or identify plate numbers so that the authorities can go after the criminals,” Senator Richard Gordon, the bill’s author, said.
Citing police data, Gordon said there were 1,069 crime incidents involving riding-in-tandems suspects, with 810 killed victims in 2011.
In Metro Manila alone, Gordon said that the number increased to more than 3,000 in 2013, 6,219 in 2014, and 6,006 in 2015.
Under the measure, the LTO-issued license plates must be placed in both front and rear parts of the motorcycle or scooter. The plate numbers should be big enough for a person to read from 12 to 15 meters away.
The LTO is also mandated to create a color scheme of the plate numbers for each region for easier identification of place of registration.
If the bill is passed into law, the LTO is required to give the police a list of all registered motorcycles and scooters, including the following details:
- Name of the registered owner
- Number of driver's license
- Address and contact details
- Vehicle identification number
- Plate number
- Body color
A counterpart measure in the House of Representatives is pending at the committee level.
The measure also seeks to prohibit driving without a plate number. It will be punishable by at least 4 months and 1 day to 2 years and 4 months imprisonment or a fine of at least P50,000 to P100,000, or both, depending on the gravity of the violation.
Gordon said motorcycles driven without a plate number or a readable one “shall be stopped, seized by law-enforcement officers and surrendered to the LTO.”
If a motorcycle was intentionally used in a crime, the owner, driver, back rider or passenger who participated shall be punished by at least 12 years to 20 years imprisonment.
An owner of a motorcycle would also be liable if he or she fails to report the theft of the vehicle or if it had been used in the commission of a crime.
If death or serious physical injuries result from a motorcycle-assisted crime, the penalty of life imprisonment shall be imposed. – Rappler.com