Live & Let Ride
Dilemma on double license plates
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!