Santa will ride again, say police

Suzanne Barnard (back) and Scott Ryan (front) in front of the Sapar Christmas truck.
Suzanne Barnard (back) and Scott Ryan (front) in front of the Sapar Christmas truck. Sarah Harvey

THE Sapar Christmas truck will return to the suburbs of Ipswich next December, following negotiations between the landscaping company and police.

The brightly lit truck, which has conducted festive tours of the city's residential light displays for the last 14 years, attracted the wrong kind of attention last Saturday night, with a traffic officer pulling over a convoy of the truck and two Ulysses Club motorcycle riders as they travelled through Brassall.

The police officer issued $44 fines to each of the drivers for using lights to dazzle other motorists, and the truck was also ordered off the road for the final day of its week-long tour on Sunday.

While there were fears the incident could spell an end to the popular tradition, Ipswich police district Inspector Keith McDonald confirmed on Monday the matter had been resolved.

"The company has spoken to us in a meeting (Monday) morning and, as a result, the truck will return next year," Insp McDonald said.

While police were reluctant to go into details about the terms that were agreed to, they did confirm that Sapar would need to obtain a permit before putting the Christmas truck back on the road next year.

"It is all about the safety of the public and that has always been our primary concern - as well as Sapar's," Insp McDonald said.

The fact of the matter is that the issue has now been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

Sapar spokeswoman Suzanne Barnard said she was still bewildered by the police attention the truck received at the weekend, but was none the less relieved that the tour would be back next December.

"Everything is okay - we are going to sort it all out. We will sit down and map out a plan with police in about October," she said.

Ms Barnard said she was unsure whether or not significant changes would need to be made to the truck's light and sound display in order to satisfy permit guidelines next year.

Topics:  brassall, sapar christmas truck, traffic violations, ulysses club



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