I was minding my own business getting some groceries the other evening in south Bismarck when there arose such a clatter.

A white truck rolled into the parking lot with a lit Christmas tree in the pickup bed.  Now, that's the Christmas spirit.  I was leaving at the time and the driver was already inside the store, so I couldn't find out more.  None of my co-workers have run into this "Holly Jolly" family truckster yet, so I have no idea what's the story.

Is this simply somebody who just has a lot of Christmas joy?  Maybe the tree represents something?  Maybe they were a part of a parade?  Do you know?  Let me know in the comments.

Anyway, it got me thinking...is it even legal to drive around with a lit Christmas tree in your vehicle?

Not to be a Grinch, but it seems like anything fun these days, somebody wants to ruin it.  I reached out to my friend with the Bismarck Police Department to ask him if this act of spreading Christmas joy is indeed illegal (if that is what the owner of the truck was trying to do)?

Unfortunately, it is indeed illegal in the state of North Dakota. 

Bah humbug!  First off, only red lights are permitted to the rear of vehicles (with the exception of reverse lights, license plate lights that can only be white, and turn signals).  Additionally, any flashing light aside from turn signals is prohibited (yes, the tree lights were blinking).  The only exception would be for class A/B/C emergency vehicles.  These laws all fall under the North Dakota Century Code 39-21.

So, much for spreading holiday joy in North Dakota.

Rick Rider
Rick Rider

This particular police officer told me he would probably let it slide, but you can bet others wouldn't be so kind.

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