VOTING 21-0, the Senate has passed on third and final reading a bill requiring motorcycles and scooters to have bigger license plates for easy identification and to deter criminality.
Senate Bill 1397 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017 mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to issue bigger and reflectorized license plates which must be placed in both front and rear parts of the motorcycle.
The plate numbers should be big enough to be readable from a distance of between 12 to 15 meters, said Sen. Richard Gordon, who authored SB 1397.
“By increasing the size and visibility of the motorcycle plates to be able to read the plate numbers from a distance, witnesses and law enforcement agencies are aided in the identification of motorcycle riders who are involved in accidents or criminal activities,” he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded 1,700 crime incidents involving riding-in-tandem suspects with 2,089 victims in 2011, higher than the 1,565 recorded incidents in 2010 with 1,819 victims.
In Metro Manila alone, Gordon said, the number even ballooned to more than 3,000 in 2013 and up to 6,219 in 2014. It decreased to 6,026 in 2015. “This is an example of the impunity upon which motorcycles have been utilized in killing,” Gordon said.
Under SB 1397, the LTO is also mandated to devise a color scheme for the plate numbers and an alphanumeric system in every region for easy identification of the place where the motorcycle was registered and recollection by the public.
It also prohibits driving without a plate number, which is punishable by a maximum of two years or a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000 or both.
“Motorcycles driven without a plate number or a readable plate number shall be stopped, seized by law-enforcement officers and surrendered to the LTO,” Gordon said. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO