Politician aims to protect children with new legislation on ice cream truck vendors

Would keep sex offenders, traffic offenders from operating ice cream trucks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When ice cream trucks drive through town, sometimes children are allowed to head out to the truck without adult supervision. One local politician says he is creating a law to help protect those kids.

Citizens in a Clay County neighborhood were recently outraged when they heard Jackie Hall, a convicted sex offender, was making plans to own and operate an ice cream truck.

After hearing about Hall's attempt to operate an ice cream truck, City Councilman Don Redman drafted legislation to limit the type of people who can run or own ice cream trucks in Duval County.

"These are criminals who do not need to be perpetually tempted or given the opportunity to get around our children. It's absurd," said Redman.

Redman's legislation will require people looking to buy or run an ice cream truck to get a permit from the city that would only be available after a background check.

Redman's legislation would also take regulation of ice cream truck operators one step further. Not only would it outlaw registered or convicted sex offenders or predators from the vocation, it would also rule out habitual traffic violators, those with reckless driving or DUI convictions in 3 years or more than three total convictions.

Redman said child safety encompasses more than sexual predators.

"I have grandchildren. I don't want them in harms way," said Redman. "Especially not when they are after something innocent like ice cream."

The new ordinance will not apply to food trucks in the city. The ice cream truck ordinance will be on the City Council's agenda on Jan. 22.