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Some drivers taking advantage of Farm Use tags

Some drivers taking advantage of Farm Use tags
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 18:15:47-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Some drivers are taking advantage of "Farm Use" license plates to allow themselves to drive on a revoked license or without insurance.

Lynette Dooley was driving through a Colonial Heights intersection on Wednesday morning when she was involved in a hit and run.

"After I was clearing the intersection, plowed right into me," Dooley said.

At her first opportunity, she pulled over on the side of the road.

"I looked in my side rearview mirror and that's when I saw that vehicle make a u-turn and head on out," she said.

In a moment of quick thinking, she decided to follow the driver to grab a picture of the license plate.

"I was really shocked because I knew with it being Farm Use, there's probably not any way to identify the driver," Dooley said.

She said that she believes that the vehicle that hit her car wasn't actually a farm vehicle.

"The Sheriff's Office has gotten a number of complaints over the last several months in reference to vehicles running the commercially bought Farm Use tags," Major William Knott with the Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office said.

In the past few months, over a dozen vehicles with Farm Use tags have been pulled over by deputies. These plates can be easily purchased by drivers.

Some drivers told deputies that the pandemic prevented them from getting the proper tags from their cars, but their driver's license told another story.

"People are driving with suspended or revoked licenses, the vehicles don't have liability insurance," Knott said.

Deputies are spotting Farm Use tags in places they shouldn't be as the law for their use is pretty specific.

"There are certain types of vehicles that fit the criteria for running Farm Use tags and specific places they can be doing to run those plates," Knott said.

For Dooley, the fact that her car was hit by a vehicle with farm tags means that the ball is in her court.

"It's totally up to me now. I contacted my insurance company to file a claim and now I have to go through all the paperwork and give a written statement, take all kinds of pictures, go find an auto body shop," she said.

Knott said that farmers in Dinwiddie County are also concerned about the number of cars they see with Farm Use tags. Commissioner of Revenue Lori Stevens said that her office has received complaints about the tags as well.

If you recognized the vehicle involved in the alleged hit and run, you are asked to contact the Colonial Heights Police Department.