As crimes related to riding-in-tandem motorcycles continue to increase in various parts of the country, a new measure is being proposed in order to make it easier to identify the license plates of suspects.

Senator Richard Gordon has filed Senate Bill No. 1128 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017 that will mandate the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to issue bigger and reflectorized license plates to every motorcycle and scooter in the country.

One of the main issues encountered by the police tasked to investigate riding-in-tandem killings is the difficulty in identifying the plate numbers of the motorcycle due to its small size and reduced alphanumeric characters.

“This is why there are many riding-in-tandem crimes. Criminals are brave because they can quickly escape. Let’s make plate numbers bigger so that they will be easy to read,” said Gordon.

Under the proposed senate bill, the plate number will be enlarged to a size that will be legible from a distance of 12 to 15 meters and should be positioned in front and at the rear part of the motorcycle.

The LTO will also be required to develop a color scheme that will differentiate motorcycles and their registration between regions for simpler tracking and identification, also a new alphanumeric system that will make it easier to remember.

A list of all registered motorcycles and scooters will also be made available by the LTO to the police, all day, seven days a week. The list will include 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.

Should the bill be passed into a law, persons committing a crime through or with a backrider or backriders face life imprisonment. The motorcycle or scooter used in the commission of the crime shall be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the government.

In 2011, the Philippine National Police recorded 1,700 incidents of crime perpetrated by riding-in-tandem suspects. The number almost doubled in 2013 to 3,000 and more than doubled in 2016 to 6,026.