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Is Thomson "The paper tag city of the South?"

Thomson is known as "The Camellia City of the South." Thomson should also be known as "The City with the most vehicles riding around with paper tags on them."

I have observed vehicles with hand written paper tags stating "Tag Applied For" or "Tag Lost" or "Tag Stolen" or tags with no expiration date or no tag at all. This to me is a serious problem that seems to be growing like a cancer.

I have noticed vehicles in the Augusta and the Atlanta areas (as well as states other than Georgia) and there does not seem to be nearly the amount of paper tags displayed as I see in the Thomson area.

Recently, my wife and I went to the drive-through at a local bank. While sitting in our vehicle waiting to make our transaction we saw three cars with paper tags. After conducting our business we zig-zagged through the parking lot at Wal- Mart and counted 13 vehicles with paper tags. Of the 13, three looked legitimate. The other 10 were old, beat-up vehicles that looked as though the tags had been on them for a long period of time. I know of a student who some time back drove their vehicle to school for nine months with the same paper tag that read "Tag Applied For."

If I were a betting person I wouldn't be afraid to bet a large sum of money that the majority of the vehicles with these type tags don't have a dime's worth of insurance on them.

I expressed my concern to a law enforcement officer some time back, and I was told that "they wished that was all they had to do -- just ride around looking for paper tags on vehicles." I told them they didn't have to ride around and look for them -- all they have to do is ride around with their eyes open. You can hardly ride through Thomson without seeing a car with a paper tag.

I drive a 1989 Nissan truck with more than 200,000 miles on it. It's a good, dependable truck and it's paid for. I also have full coverage insurance on it. What I'm afraid of is that one day one of these drivers with a paper tag and no insurance is going to run a red light or a stop sign and cram me. My insurance company is going to take a look at my truck and consider the fact it's a 1989 with more than 200,000 miles on it and they're going to total it and offer me about $350 for it. If this happens I will have no other alternative but to go in debt and buy another one. I certainly wouldn't be able to get anything from the lawbreaker because some furniture company probably owns their furniture and the government is probably making their house payments for them.

It would be wonderful if all our law enforcement officers in our area would begin stopping vehicles displaying paper tags and investigate to see if they are in fact legal or not. By doing so maybe we can get many of these dead beat lawbreakers off the road and make it a safer place for all tax-paying, law-abiding citizens.

Tommy Burnley

Web posted on Thursday, May 13, 2004

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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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