Sun, Dec 24, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Vehicle ID for motorbikes compulsory from January

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications plans to require that all motorbikes be imprinted with a serial engine number or license plate number from next month in an attempt to deter thefts.

Those motorbike owners who do not have vehicle identification numbers etched on their motorbike parts will not be able to have their license plates renewed, according to the ministry.

Police bureaus in Taipei County said that in the past few days, they have seen growing numbers of motorbike owners making use of a free imprinting program provided by the National Police Agency (NPA) that marks vehicle identification numbers on components of motorcycles and scooters.

Motorbike owners in Taiwan have been troubled by a high theft rate -- more than 200,000 a year.

In August, the NPA reported that the number of motorbike thefts in Taiwan had decreased 21 percent since police began the free ID imprinting service in March, making it more difficult for thieves to sell their loot.

Statistics show there are more than 11 million motorcycles and scooters in Taiwan. Approximately 700,000 new motorbikes are sold on the domestic market each year.

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