VANCOUVER -- Burnaby Mounties pulled over a Tesla Tuesday night that they described as lit up like a Christmas tree.

The Model 3 was covered in flashing, colour-changing holiday lights as it rolled through Burnaby around 7 p.m.

Although it was done meticulously, the stringed bulbs were held up with duct tape.

“Please don’t do this,” tweeted Burnaby RCMP. “It can be dangerous if they fall off in traffic, never mind the distraction.”

The owner was handed an $81 ticket for violating section 4.02 of the Motor Vehicle Act with his “unauthorized lamp”.

Mounties described the driver in his early 30s as highly cooperative and not surprised he was pulled over.

Even so, the fine was seen as heavy-handed by some.

“That’s ridiculous. Was the officer having a bad day? How about a warning?,” wrote a Twitter user.

“There are better and – believe it or not – legal ways to spread Christmas cheer,” argued another.

BCAA acknowledged we could all use a little extra cheer this year, but said it doesn’t recommend putting extra lights on the outside of vehicles.

“If you want to decorate, you can decorate the inside of your car,” advised automotive specialist Josh Smythe. “Make sure if you’re going to put anything on the exterior like artificial elf legs, or deer antlers on your windows, that they are secured properly, and will remain on your vehicle while driving.”

ICBC said there are no specific insurance issues associated with decorations, but cautioned: “If decorations on a vehicle led to an at-fault accident, it could impact the driver’s insurance rates; however, that is true of any at-fault accident.”

The Tesla driver was given three days to clear the lights off his car. He told the officer he would do it right away.