Festive trucks sidelined by police

Police have put the kibosh on lighted trucks that roam the Comox Valley during the holiday season due to distractions to motorists.

At this time of year, several truck owners adorn vehicles with lights and festive displays, collecting donations for the food bank in the process.

On Friday, Comox Valley RCMP issued a warning to two drivers, saying the Christmas lights violated the Motor Vehicle Act and could be distracting for drivers. Police also say the decorative lights interfere with a truck’s brake lights, signal lights and marker lights.

Pilon Tool Rentals is in its fourth year of decorating a truck, which starts visiting retirement homes and collecting food items after the light truck parade in Cumberland — which has not been affected by the warnings.

“I even went through a road block with it (truck) before, I’ve been passed by police officers,” Bill Brimacombe said. “A lot of them will just wave. I understand he (officer) was doing his job. I see that side of it. I was just hoping they’d try to work with us. There is a law there, yes, but I just never had a problem with it, so I figured it was supported in the Valley.”

Brimacombe says the truck, which honks when it arrives in a neighbourhood and finishes its rounds by 8 p.m., has never caused a problem.

He understands if police prefer to keep trucks away from busy streets, but hopes they could allow visits residential areas. That way, trucks could continue to visit shut-in residents. But police say they cannot advise citizens that they can violate a law or legislation.

“The holidays can be a tough time of year for a lot of people,” Brimacombe said. “If you can make someone’s holiday by putting some lights on a truck and coming to visit them, why not? We do it all on our own time.”

Pilon Tool Rentals had hoped to take the truck out on Wednesday.

“I guess we’ll have to stay stationary for now,” said Brimacombe, who suggests police could escort the truck.

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