Live & Let Ride

Dilemma on dou­ble li­cense plates

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Moto Sapiens - WORDS BY ARIS ILAGAN

Like a thief in the night, the pas­sage last July of the Se­nate Bill No. 1397, otherwise known as the Mo­tor­cy­cle Crime Preven­tion Act of 2017, came as a big sur­prise to the mo­tor­cy­cle com­mu­nity.

Authored by Sen. Richard Gor­don, it seeks to re­quire mo­tor­cy­cle own­ers to put two big li­cense plates at the front and rear sec­tions of the bike. The li­cense plates, with characters that can be read from 12m to 15m away, are to be is­sued by the LTO if the bill becomes a law. Po­lice au­thor­i­ties will also be re­quired to pro­vide the LTO their li­cense de­tails, ad­dress, con­tact in­for­ma­tion, ve­hi­cle iden­ti­fi­ca­tion number, and mo­tor­cy­cle make, model, and body color.

Fail­ure to com­ply will yield puni­tive mea­sures like im­pris­on­ment of 12 years min­i­mum and up to 20 years max­i­mum. This will hap­pen if a mo­tor­cy­cle is in­volved in a crime in­ci­dent. If it’s a stolen mo­tor­cy­cle, the owner will be held li­able for his fail­ure to re­port the theft of the bike.

Mo­tor­cy­cle or­ga­ni­za­tions are cry­ing foul. Even mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers, as­sem­blers, and deal­ers op­pose it, say­ing the in­stal­la­tion of a big li­cense plate above the head­light can com­pro­mise the safety of the rider as it might get blown away by strong wind.

Dif­fer­ent rider groups ex­pressed dis­may be­cause they were left out when it was drafted. Some even say that the re­quire­ment to pro­vide po­lice with sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion about them­selves is an in­va­sion of pri­vacy.

Mo­tor­cy­cle as­so­ci­a­tions have thus launched a one-mil­lion-sig­na­ture cam­paign in the dif­fer­ent parts of the country against the Mo­tor­cy­cle Crime Preven­tion Act. While claim­ing that they fully sup­port the gov­ern­ment’s cam­paign against crim­i­nal­ity, they stress that they should not bear the brunt of the blame for crimes com­mit­ted by the so­called ‘rid­ing-in-tan­dem.’

We riders are hop­ing that the one mil­lion sig­na­tures will reach the leg­is­la­tors be­fore this bill is passed into law. Hear us, please!

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