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Bigger motorbike license plates eyed to minimize riding-in-tandem crimes

Sen. Richard Gordon on Monday filed a bill that seeks to increase the size of motorcycle plates to minimize riding-in-tandem crimes.

Under Senate Bill No. 1128 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017, Gordon wants the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to issue bigger and reflectorized plate numbers for every motorcycle and scooter.

Acording to Gordon, many have been killed by suspects riding-in-tandem but no one can identify the plate number of the motorcycle used by these criminals because the plate number is too small and it cannot be seen properly.

“This is why there are many riding-in-tandem crimes. Criminals are brave because they can quickly escape. Let’s make plate numbers bigger so that they will be easy to read,” he added.

Under his measure, the plate numbers should be big enough to be readable from a distance of between 12 to 15 meters. It must also be placed both in the front and rear part of the motorcycle.

It also mandates the LTO to devise a color scheme of the plate numbers for every region to easily identify where such motorcycle was registered. The agency will also devise an alphanumeric system for easier identification and recollection by the general public, whether seen by day or night.

Moreover, the LTO will also provide to the police authorities, on a 24/7 basis; a list of all the registered motorcycles and scooters including, but not limited to, the following: the name of the registered owner, the number of his driver’s license, his address and contact details, vehicle identification number, plate number, body color, and brand/manufacturer.

Under the proposed measure, persons committing a crime through or with a backrider or backriders face life imprisonment. While the motorcycle or scooter used in the commission of the crime shall be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the government.

Gordon, chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, noted that for the past two decades, motorcycles have been used by criminals with hardly any witnesses being able to read or identify the motorcycle plate numbers because of the small size.

Because of this, he said that motorcycles have become “crime machines.”

In 2011, the Philippine National Police recorded 1,700 crime incidents involving riding-in-tandems suspects with 2,089 victims. This was higher than the 1,565 recorded incidents in 2010, with 1,819 victims.

In Metro Manila alone, the number even ballooned to more than 3,000 in 2013. In 2014, it went up to 6,219 and decreased to 6,026 in 2015. (PNA/Interaksyon)