Duterte to suspend double plates law for motorbikes
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday night that he would suspend the implementation of a new law requiring bigger and color-coded number plates for motorcycles.
Speaking in Iloilo City on the occasion of the 25th National Federation of the Motorcycle Clubs of the Philippines Annual National Convention, the President said he would talk to Sen. Richard Gordon who was behind the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act that in all countries there were no motorcycles that had two plate numbers, only one at the back of the vehicle.
“I will try to convince the Land Transportation Office to hang on it. I will suspend it,” the President said, causing his audience to cheer and applaud.
The President, a motorcycle enthusiast himself, said it would be “dangerous to place another gadget” in front of a motorcycle as this could pierce through a rider’s helmet.
“Anything that is sharp, has sharp edges, is not good,” he said.
The Chief Executive also said the P50,000 fine for violators was “too high” and he proposed the fine to be just P10,000 to P15,000.
“As a compromise, you have to enlarge the plate number [at the back of the motorcycle] by one fourth so that the number can be seen,” the President added.
On March 8, he signed the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, or which mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to issue bigger and color-coded number plates for motorcycles.
He said he signed it because it was based on a recommendation by the police and military.
The law covers two or three-wheeled motor vehicles, including scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles with such appendages as sidecars, as well as tricycles or trikes, including government-owned vehicles.
According to the law, the font style on the plates would be decided by the LTO. It should be bigger and readable from the front, side and back of the motorcycle from a distance of 15 meters from the vehicle.
The plates, to be made of durable material, should be displayed on both the front and back sides of the motorcycle.
The law also requires the LTO to have a registry of motorcycles in a database for easy retrieval when needed for investigations and law enforcement.
“Motorcycle owners with number plates not in conformity with the provisions of this Act, shall renew their registration and apply for the required readable number plate not later than June 30 this year,” according to the law.
LTO chief Edgar Galvante, who was at the convention, told reporters that they were in the process of drafting the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
He said the safety of the motorcycle driver and passenger is “primordial” in the drafting of the IRR.
He said they hoped to find a “win-win” solution that would satisfy both the motorcycle drivers and the law.
Galvante pointed out the plates need not be made of metal or hard materials. He said it was still not definite if the IRR would require only rear plates.
“We are merely implementing the law,” he said.
It would up to legislators to determine if there would a need to amend the law, he added. —With a report from Nestor P. Burgos
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