Photo: Lucy Jane Photography
It’s not often we at CHEK News get a flood of messages about one issue, but on Friday night we did.
Several viewers from the Comox Valley are upset about what they say was move by local police that extinguished a wonderful and welcome Christmas tradition.
At this time of year, several truck owners in the area deck out their vehicles with lights and elaborate festive displays and drive through residential areas spreading holiday cheer.
It’s not just for show, they also help collect donations for the local food bank and other charities.
On Friday evening, Comox Valley RCMP officers pulled over two of the trucks and the owners were told the lights are distracting and dangerous.
The owners of the other three trucks quickly got the message.
“We have been told by police that we can no longer drive around with our lights on,” said Erin Kaetler of Strate Scapes Landscaping who, along with her husband, owns one of the trucks.
“Welcome to the no fun zone. You might still catch a glimpse of us “parked” in residential neighbourhoods.”
Koetler says she and her husband first decided to decorate their dump truck back 2013.
Other truck owners then came forward wanting to join in and soon they became known as the Comox Valley Christmas Light Trucks.
“These trucks and their drivers bring so much cheer to all the families of the Valley,” wrote one person on Friday.
“They have become a real Christmas tradition and they have to be allowed to continue to spread their Christmas cheer.”
“The people who operate these vehicles are selfless members of the community,” wrote another.
“When they rolled into our neighbourhood the other night everyone was excited to see them.”
Kaetler makes it clear she doesn’t want to criticize the police and understands they have a job to do but she feels there is room for compromise.
She hopes they’ll still be allowed to drive the Christmas Light Trucks on smaller residential streets and continue to spread holiday cheer for many years to come.
We’ve reached out the RCMP for comment and will include a response as soon as we receive one.