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Riders unite vs new law on double plates

Some 120,000 motorcycle riders nationwide came together Sunday to show their outrage against the recently signed double-plate law that they claim is dangerous, discriminating and anti-poor.   

Riders unite vs new law on double plates
UNITY RIDE. As many as 120,000 motorcycle riders join the nationwide unity ride in Metro Manila on Sunday (March 24) to oppose the new law, Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act,  which calls for bigger license plates mounted on each motorcycle.  
Ey Acasio 
The riders slammed Republic Act 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017 that was authored by Senator Richard Gordon and Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last week.

Gordon has reminded the Land Transportation Office to be careful in drafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations for RA 11235, even as reelectionist Senator JV Ejercito on Sunday “pacified” the motorcycle riders who have been complaining about the new law.

The riders were relieved when Ejercito said the law would only be effective after the official issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations.

RA 11235 aims to address the rising number of crimes perpetrated by motorcycle-riding gunmen by making their bikes more easily identifiable.

The law orders the Land Transportation Office to issue bigger, reflectorized license plates that must be placed in front and in the back of the motorcycle. The plate numbers should be big enough to be readable even from 12 to 15 meters away.

The motorcycle riders cited safety issues as their main concern over RA 11235. The front-mounted plate may become detached due to several factors including vibration, wind, or just simply the failure of the material to hold the plate. They say this poses a big risk to both the motorcycle rider and the one riding pillion, as well as to pedestrians and other road users.

The riders also claim that there were no proper consultations from experts and motorcycle riders to determine whether installing bigger plates on both front and back is feasible or safe and if it is even applicable to all types of motorcycles.

“Old and new motorcycles don’t have the provisions for a front-mounted plate. Adding a bracket outside of factory specifications will surely pose a big risk for the riders, their passenger, and even the pedestrians, said Jobert Bolanos of the Motorcycle Rights Organization. 

“And not all motorcycles have the same front design that can accommodate stickers or decals which take away uniformity. And without uniformity, there is subjectivity.”

“Motorcycle riders have been hampered by several ordinances and laws that sometimes we think that we are being outcast in our own society,” Rod Cruz, chairman of the Arangkada Riders Alliance, said. 

“RA 11235 is by far the worst law of all so you cannot blame us for doing this nationwide call for fairness and equality. Please do not treat us like criminals.”

Riders unite vs new law on double plates
UNITY RIDE. As many as 120,000 motorcycle riders join the nationwide unity ride in Metro Manila on Sunday (March 24) to oppose the new law, Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act,  which calls for bigger license plates mounted on each motorcycle. Norman Cruz
The motorcycle riders claim that motorcycle-riding criminals would still be able to commit crimes by simply taking off the license plates, or by simply using fake license plates to mislead the authorities. 

READ: Bigger license plates for motorbikes okayed

Topics: double-plate law , Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017 , Richard Gordon , Vicente Sotto III , Rodrigo Duterte
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