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Motorcycles will now need to display big license plates

A new law aims to help prevent motorbike-aided crimes

If you have a motorcycle, you need to read this report. PHOTO FROM PIXABAY

Motorcycles are so accessible and so easy to use these days that even criminals have taken to using these whenever they set out to break the law. From small-time snatchers to highly trained assassins, bad people now prefer using motorbikes as their convenient getaway vehicles (for obvious reasons). Which is why lawmakers and law enforcers have been trying to devise ways to prevent the use of otherwise harmless two-wheeled rides in the commission of crimes.

Here’s the latest one, signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8, 2019: Republic Act No. 11235, or the “Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.” This measure focuses mainly on the issuance and the proper use of motorcycle license plates. For starters, motorbikes will now be required to display—at the front and at the back—“bigger, readable and color-coded number plates and identification marks.”

The Land Transportation Office has been tasked to create and release the above-mentioned new plates for motorcycles. The agency shall determine the “font style and size” to be used on the plates. The law wants these plates to be “readable from a distance of at least 15m.” Furthermore, these plates shall be color-coded, which each region being assigned a unique color so that motorcycles registered in different areas may be easily identified.

The LTO has until December 31, 2019, to “produce, release and issue” the new motorcycle plates.

Meanwhile, owners of currently registered motorcycles are required to renew their registration and apply for the new plates “not later than June 30, 2019.”

Authorities are now clamping down on the rampant use of motorcycles among criminals. PHOTO FROM PIXABAY

Here are the main offenses mentioned in the new law, as well as their corresponding penalties:

1. Failure to register a motorcycle within five days from its acquisition shall have a penalty of imprisonment (one month to six years) or a fine of P20,000 to P50,000, or both.

2. Failure to report the sale or disposition of a motorcycle within five days shall have a penalty of imprisonment (one month to six years) or a fine of P20,000 to P50,000, or both.

3. Use of a motorcycle without license plates shall have a penalty of imprisonment (six months to six years) or a fine of P50,000 to P100,000, or both.

4. Failure of a motorcycle owner to report lost, damaged or stolen license plates shall have a fine of P20,000 to P50,000.

5. Failure of a motorcycle owner to report within three days said lost, damaged or stolen license plates that end up being used in the commission of a crime shall have a penalty of imprisonment (one month to six years).

6. Erasing, concealing or tampering with motorcycle plates shall have a penalty of imprisonment (six years to 12 years) or a fine of P50,000 to P100,000, or both.

7. Buying or selling erased or tampered motorcycle plates shall have a penalty of imprisonment (six years to 12 years).

8. Unwittingly buying or selling erased or tampered motorcycle plates shall have a penalty of imprisonment (one month to six months).

9. Use of stolen motorcycle plates shall have a penalty of imprisonment (six years to 12 years) or a fine of P50,000 to P100,000, or both.

According to the new law, these penal provisions shall take effect after December 31, 2019. If you own a motorcycle, consider yourself informed and warned.



Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 24 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. The rest, as they say, is rock and roll. He writes the column ‘Spoiler’.



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