Groups say bigger plates for motorcycles pose danger to everyone
Groups of motorcycle owners opposed on Wednesday the proposed measure requiring motorcycles and scooters to have bigger licensed plates, saying this would only compromise the safety of the public and the riders.
During a House transportation committee hearing, Jobert Bolaños, of the Motorcycle Riders Organization, told lawmakers that bigger plates, if attached both in front and rear part of the vehicle, could only lead to accidents.
The committee was discussing House Bill No. 5381, which imposes the use of bigger plate numbers and other identification marks attached to motorcycles and scooters as a crime-deterrent effort of the government.
Bolaños said the bigger plates, a prototype of which was shown by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) during the hearing, might not withstand wind force during rides.
“Kapag sobrang hangin, kapag lumipad (‘yung plate), may mai-injure (When that plate flies out due to strong winds, someone might get injured),” Bolaños said.
Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Winnie Castelo asked Bolaños whether the group was really concerned about the safety or only for aesthetics purposes.
“It’s only safety, not even aesthetics,” Bolaños answered.
Virgilio Montaño, of the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc. (MDPPA), also explained that the use of bigger plates would not be compatible with the existing designs of motorcycles, thus posing danger to both motorcycle riders and the public.
“On safety, the license plate installed in front interferes with the function of head lamp and signal lights and the safe steering and suspension system,” Montaño said.
In the upper chamber, the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017 (Senate Bill No. 1397), authored by Senators Richard Gordon and Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, has already been approved.
The Senate version of the measure mandates the Land Transportation Office to issue bigger and reflectorized license plates to every motorcycle and scooter in the country. The plate numbers should be big enough to be readable from 12 to 15 meters away.
While the group appreciates the measure’s intention to curb motorcycle-related crimes, Bolaños pointed out that that imposing the use of bigger plates to all 40 million motorcycle users would be unjustifiable.
“We have an issue with the number of crimes committed by criminals versus the number of innocent riders using motorcycles—the ratio isn’t justifiable,” he said. “There are literally over 40 million motorcycle users in the country against a few hundred, if not a few thousand people using motorcycle in the commission of crimes,” Bolaños added. /jpv