By now, the LTO is nearly done finalizing the Implementing Rules and Regulations for the Republic Act 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, popularly known to motorcycle riders as the “Doble Plaka Law.” The new law has caused controversy because of its requirement of a second number plate that needs to be placed on the front of the motorcycle.
Written in the IRR are the dimensions of the upcoming front plate requirement. In addition, it is going to be made of a decal (sticker) material. The IRR specifies that it “shall be 125mm in width and 95mm in height, and made of suitable and durable sticker material with reflectorized alphanumeric characters and security features. The font size for all alphanumeric characters is 40mm tall."
To give motorcycle riders an idea of the new front sticker's dimensions, MotoPinas.com has made a sample of the said front plate. Its specifications were made in accordance with those stated in the draft IRR. To best represent the majority of the motorcycle riding public, we elected to use a Bristol 400i Cafe Racer, due to its standard configuration, which is very similar to a conventional backbone / business model. We explore how this new plate size can possibly be mounted on various parts of the motorcycle.
Take note that this is simply based on the current measurements as of press time. These measurements and specifications are not final and may still change in the future.
Position 1: Instrument panel (above the headlight)
Since this is a conventional motorcycle style, naturally, the instrument panel is mounted above the handlebars for the best visibility for the rider. These instrument panels are composed of two separate round gauges with chrome trim. The front decal is quite large to fit on this location. If stuck directly on the round dials, the sticker will be obscued and may be difficult to read as it may be partially obscured by the top of the headlight. Riders will have to stick it onto a flat mounting plate secured to the dials or the handlebar below to ensure the plate is visible.
Position 2: The front fender
This placement has some potential. However, if stuck directly on the fender, the round shape of the fender and its angle will, once again, make the front plate difficult to read. Its flat orientation will also make it difficult to see from in front, unless viewed from an elevated position. This clearly cannot be read from at least 15 meters. Riders will have to provide a flat mounting surface, facing forward, and secured to the fender.
Position 3: The side mirror
While the side mirror is not a completely flat area, sticking it here will definitely make it easy to read. Unfortunately, this likely won't be allowed by the authorities, and may even be susceuptible to damage whan riding in between vehicles.
Position 4: Front forks
This has some potential if the front decal is stuck on a flat surface that is secured to the fork. On its own, the front decal cannot be stuck directly on the fork as the round surface will obscure the edges of the plate.
Of course, sticking the decal to a flat surface, secured to one of the forks, is only possible on bikes with an upside-down (inverted) fork setup. Bikes with a conventional telescopic design cannot employ this method because it will inhibit the moving parts of the fork. In addition, mounting it only to one side may put the decal at risk of being damaged if the rider were to pass through tight areas barely wider than the bike itself.
The mounting problem
This is just one motorcycle model among the many kinds of motorcycles out there. There are several more motorcycle models without a flat surface to install this decal. In most cases, riders will have to produce a flat surface to stick the decal on and find a way to secure it properly and safely to the motorcycle body. At night time, the glare of a motorcycle's headlight can possibly obscure the details on the number plate, making it difficult for any law enforcement officer to read them.
It's not only current motorcycle owners that are faced with this challenge. This also means that manufacturers must find and provide a way for potential motorcycle owners to stick and display the decal. RA 11235 stipulates that motorcycle manufacturers can not longer import or release motorcycle models that do not accommodate the requirements of Senator Gordon's Doble Plaka Law. Under Section 14 of the RA 11235, "No person, whether natural or juridical, shall be allowed to sell motorcycles, as defined under Section 3 (c) of this Act, unless such motorcycle has the capability to bear and showcase a readable number plate as required under Section 5 of this Act."
During a past dialogue regarding the issue, hosted by then-senator JV Ejercito at the Senate Building in Pasay, representatives from motorcycle manufactuers said that it takes a minimum of 2 years to develop certain modifications on a motorcycle to make sure it conforms to all international safety standards. Simply put, the manufacturers need time to study this new requirement as it is not advisable to simply put a new front plate bracket that was never considered to be part of stock specifications of a motorcycle in the first place. Improperly mounted plates and brackets may risk injury or even death to the motorcycle consumer.
How would you mount and display the new motorcycle front decal?