In a bid to take a bite out of crime by stopping the rising criminal incidents perpetrated by people riding in tandem on board motorcycles, Senator Richard J. Gordon has filed a bill that aims to prevent persons riding-in-tandems from easily getting away after committing a crime.
In filing Senate Bill No. 1128 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017, Gordon noted that for the past two decades, at least, motorcycles have been used by criminals with hardly any witnesses being able to read/identify the motorcycle plate numbers because of the small size.
“Motorcycles have become crime machines. 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/identify the plate numbers so the authorities can go after the criminals. Over the years, libu-libo na ang naging biktima ng tinatawag na riding-in-tandems,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights pointed out.
“Madalas, may napapatay ng riding-in-tandem pero walang makapagsabi sa mga nakakita kung ano ang plate number ng motorsiklong sinakyan ng mga criminal. Dahil maliit ang plate number at hindi masyadong makita. Kaya dumarami ang riding-in-tandem crimes. Malakas ang loob ng mga kriminal dahil madali silang nakakatakas, Kaya matagal ko nang isinusulong na mapalakihan ito. Gawin nating mas malaki ang mga plate number at madaling mabasa,” he added.
In 2011, the Philippine National Police recorded 1,700 crime incidents involving riding-in-tandems suspects with 2,089 victims. This was higher than the 1,565 recorded incidents in 2010, with 1,819 victims. In Metro Manila alone, the number even ballooned to more than 3,000 in 2013. In 2014, it went up to 6,219 and decreased to 6,026 in 2015.
The bill proposes that the Land Transportation Office shall issue bigger and reflectorized plate numbers for every motorcycle and scooter which must be placed both in the front and rear part of the motorcycle. The plate numbers should be big enough to be readable from a distance of between 12 to 15 meters.
The LTO is also mandated to devise a color scheme of the plate numbers for every region to easily identify where such motorcycle was registered. The agency will also devise an alphanumeric system for easier identification and recollection by the general public, whether seen by day or night.
Aside from these, the LTO is also mandated to provide to the police authorities, on a 24/7 basis; a list of all the registered motorcycles and scooters including, but not limited to, the following: the name of the registered owner, the number of his driver’s license, his address and contact details, vehicle identification number, plate number, body color, and brand/manufacturer.
Under the proposed measure, persons committing a crime through or with a backrider or backriders face life imprisonment. While the motorcycle or scooter used in the commission of the crime shall be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the government.
“This bill seeks to take a bite out of crime committed with the use of motorcycles or scooters by providing bigger plate numbers and identification marks, and by punishing the commission of a crime through or with a backrider on motorcycles and scooters. 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,” Gordon stressed.