Comox Valley Christmas tradition dimmed by police

Comox Valley Christmas tradition dimmed by police

WATCH: A driver who was pulled over was told by RCMP officer that his truck, which was decorated for Christmas, was too distracting to other drivers. Dean Stoltz has more. 

Trucks decorated with Christmas lights are popular across Vancouver Island and in the Comox Valley, it’s been a hit for many years.

In 2014, a few of the drivers decided to make even more use of all the work they did by decorating their rigs and going out a few extra nights a week. They drive through different neighbourhoods collecting food donations for charity.

But that all ended Friday afternoon when one of the trucks was pulled over by the RCMP.

“We were driving to go meet up and got pulled over by the car,” said Bill Brimacombe. “I saw him sitting there and he pulled me over and said he didn?t want to be the Grinch and he just told me I had to shut it down. He said I was distracting other drivers.”

He was on his way to meet fellow drivers Kevin and Erin Kaetler.

“I was surprised that they didn?t want to talk to us beforehand,” said Erin Kaetler. “They just seemed to really crack down on that specific night.”

She adds the two trucks went to a local seniors residence for a static display and were later followed by more RCMP officers even though their Christmas lights were off.

“The driver was stopped and given a warning that his lights were in violation of the Motor Vehicle Act and could be distracting for other drivers and interfering with the operational lights of the vehicle like brake lights, and marker lights,” RCMP told CHEK News.

News of the incident spread quickly on social media and there’s even an online petition to turn the lights back on.

“It just seems a little ridiculous to stop something that?s good and meant in the spirit of Christmas,” said Carol Borle in Courtenay on Monday.

“I think that?s pretty stupid I mean they’re out there doing it for a good cause and I don?t know I just think that?s ridiculous,” added Cheryl Manseau.

There is some support for the police.

Justin Legros wrote on Facebook: “Can you imagine someone looking at the truck for a moment long enough to slam into another vehicle? Do you want that on your conscience?”

“We do think the police do a hard job and we?re totally in support of them we just don?t agree with their decision with our trucks,” said Kevin Kaetler.

The truckers say they?ll now set up static displays to continue collecting donations and to share the spirit of the season.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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