Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A Wichita man trying to get into the Christmas spirit is getting some unwanted attention from police.
David Hill decked out his ride with nearly a thousand Christmas lights. For that, he got a ticket and a big fine. Despite the legal trouble, Hill plans to keep the lights on to spread holiday cheer.
The truck has brought a lot of joy to David Hill and many others who have seen the vehicle. His group OneSpark spreads some of that joy to other people, less fortunate in Wichita. Imagine the surprise after 16 hours of work lighting up this truck, he gets pulled over on the highway and gets a hefty fine.
Hill lit up the truck two weeks ago and never thought he'd be pulled over and given a $274 citation.
"I'm not saying he was right or wrong," Hill said. "The bottom line is there's so many people in this town right now that are hurting. And literally, there's been thousands of people that have taken pictures with that truck and it's brought a smile to their face."
But, according to the letter of the law, it's illegal and ordinances have to be enforced evenly, according to Wichita Police Lieutenant Joe Schroeder.
"When you take a vehicle and you cover it with that many lights, it's an issue of safety," Schroeder explained. "You're going to get the rubberneckers who are going to be staring at the vehicle. They're going to have a collision or rear end somebody because they're too busy looking at this car that's driving down the road."
Run by a generator in the bed of the pickup, those 856 lights are pulling about 550 watts on a total of about a thousand feet of wiring. But Hill hopes the ticket will bring attention to his efforts to feed and clothe the homeless.
"I don't want it to be a negative deal," Hill said. "Unfortunately, it happened. You know, we have a huge need right now where people are cold and freezing, so our big deal is to turn what seems to be a negative situation into a positive and ask people to donate their old clothes."
You can find Hill's website here.