A Santa sleigh tour through a neighbourhood was halted by police last night as the big man’s vehicle didn’t have the correct lights on.
Father Christmas had been touring through West Belfast to hand out presents to local children, when they were stopped by officers who told them the sleigh was not road legal.
This led to the Falls Residents Association Santa Sleigh tour being stopped briefly while the proper lights were put onto the horse pulled sleigh.
Lisa Lynn of the Falls Residents Association said it was “unfortunate” the sleigh was stopped by the police, but the issue was quickly resolved and they plan to be out again tonight seeing even more children and families, Belfast Live reports.
She said: “We had spoken to the community policing team before we set off and they seemed happy enough, so we were surprised by what happened.
“When it took place we contacted them again and they gave us the go ahead to continue once we had the correct lights.
“It seems like a big misunderstanding and although we had to briefly suspend the parade, we were back up and running again very quickly and no children missed out on seeing Santa.
“In the end everything was resolved very quickly and we are looking forward to heading out again tonight, with all the correct measures in place.”
Santa said he plans to bring more Christmas cheers to the Falls tonight and tomorrow.
He added: “We were told there’d been a complaint about Santa’s sleigh and the cop said we had to have a white light on the front and a red one on the back. I thought it was a bit like the Grinch to be honest.
“It’s a pre planned route and we’ll be back out tonight and tomorrow to get up as far as the Grosvenor to bring a little joy to the community.
“We’ve the Falls divided in three and we’ll be starting at Albert Street tonight. So far we’ve delivered 997 selection boxes to local kids and you should see the smiles on their faces.
“It’s been a tough year and we’re bringing some happiness to people’s lives, so to have someone quoting traffic legislation at you in the middle of it is a bit bah humbug. That’s not what I want to think about though. It’s the positivity of all the hundreds of kids we saw last night though, that’s the main thing.”
A PSNI spokesperson said: “At around 5.45pm last night officers responded to a report from a member of the public regarding a concern for safety of a pony and trap with no lights.
“Police attended and issued advice and guidance regarding the highway code and were content that the event was properly marshalled.
“The event was not stopped and was allowed to continue.”