Motorcycles to require larger licence plates in Philippines

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A bill passed by the Philippines Senate this week will require larger licence plates for motorcycles and scooters in the country to curb “riding-in-tandem” crimes.

The Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017, authored by Senator Richard Gordon and Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, was approved with 21 votes.

"Motorcycles have become crime machines," Gordon said in a statement. "With their small plate numbers, criminals perpetrating crimes while on board motorcycles easily flee from the scene of the crime and usually there are no witnesses who can read or identify plate numbers so that the authorities can go after the criminals.

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"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."

The new plate numbers should be readable from 12 to 15 metres away, although there are no specific measurement requirements. The introduction of the bill means the Land Transportation Office must now issue bigger and reflective number plates to all scooters and motorcycles. The office must also devise a colourscheme for each specific region of the Philippines as well as an alphanumeric system for easier identification.

According to Senator Gordon, the Philippine National Police recorded 1,069 crimes involving riding-in-tandem suspects with 810 killed victims in 2011, higher than the 824 recorded shooting incidents in 2010 with 604 killed victims.

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Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer