Monday, February 24, 2014

New LTO Plates To Promote Safety, Help Rid Roads Of Colorum Vehicles By Late April

Wazzup Pilipinas!

With road safety concerns being highlighted during the recent spate of accidents involving public utility vehicles (PUVs), the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) sees the issuance of new motor vehicle (MV) and motorcycle (MC) license plates in late April as a measure which will not only promote road safety, but help ease traffic congestion as well.

“The security features of the new plates will help weed out colorum vehicles from the roads, which will better assure the safety of the riding public. They will also help in reducing the anticipated traffic in Metro Manila. Of course, these features will also enable authorities to enforce criminal and traffic laws more effectively,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.

The DOTC issued yesterday a notice to proceed to PPI-JKG Philippines, Inc., which won the public bidding conducted by the transport agency last year for the 5-year contract to supply 5,236,439 pairs of MV plates, and 9,968,017 pairs of MC plates, to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

These standardized plates will eventually phase out the 9 different designs currently in use starting from 1981. Private MV plates will sport a new black-and-white design, similar to those in use in most countries around the world. “For hire” or PUV plates will retain the black-and-yellow scheme.

The LTO will be able to release the new license plates beginning in late April this year, as PPI-JKG will need one-and-a-half months from the last week of February to manufacture the first set of plates, which will be distributed to the LTO’s district offices across the country.

The new plates will have tamper-resistant locks and screws which will permanently attach the plates to the MV or MC. This will prevent their transfer from one vehicle to another, which is done in perpetrating crimes such as carnapping and in operating colorum PUVs.

A “third plate” windshield sticker will replace the current sticker which is renewed during annual registration, and will indicate the vehicle’s license plate number. For PUVs, their authorized routes will also be indicated on the “third plate,” making it more difficult for out-of-line colorum operations and plate tampering.

With these security features, it will be easier for the LTO, the Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB), and other law enforcement agencies to rid the roads of colorum vehicles, which will help ease traffic congestion. Although there is no reliable count of the exact number of colorum buses plying EDSA daily, it has been estimated to be well beyond a thousand units.

Among the other anti-colorum efforts of the DOTC, LTFRB, and LTO are the possible imposition of stiffer penalties for colorum operators including a P 1-Million fine, as well as the use of technology to zero-in on violators. Last year, the LTFRB also launched its Oplan Goliath campaign to apprehend unauthorized PUV services on the road.

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