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SoCal counties mull ice cream truck ban for sex offenders

By asoglin
Saturday, May 10th, 2008 at 10:21 am in Uncategorized.

By Associated Press

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) _ Riverside and San Bernardino county leaders are considering laws to ban sex offenders from driving ice cream trucks.

A proposed ordinance was scheduled to be considered Tuesday by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors while Riverside County is drafting a similar proposal.

The laws would apply to unincorporated county areas. They would require background checks for drivers and bar those convicted in the past five years of sex offenses or other crimes, including burglary and drug dealing.

“These guys are totally unregulated,” said John Field, chief of staff for Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione, who is drafting the law.

“Their trucks look pretty bad. The guys inside look pretty sketchy,” he said. “Maybe it’s time to make them go through some kind of process so we know who’s out there dealing with our kids.”

Last year, residents of a Perris neighborhood waged an awareness campaign after discovering that a registered sex offender was driving an ice cream truck there. He has since left the area.

The campaign prompted Assemblyman Paul Cook to sponsor a state ban on sex offenders driving ice cream trucks. The measure effectively died recently and Cook has not decided whether to reintroduce it, said Matt Knox, a spokesman for the Yucca Valley Republican.

Several cities and at least two states, New York and Illinois, have in recent years have adopted such bans.

There are more than 250 ice cream trucks in San Bernardino County, said David Zook, spokesman for Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. None of the drivers are on the state’s list of registered sex offenders, he said.

Riverside County has 346 ice cream trucks registered with the county Environmental Health Department, Deputy Director Steve Van Stockum said.

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Information from: The Press-Enterprise, http://www.pe.com

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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