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It’s that time of year when the ice cream trucks start patrolling the streets looking for their target customers – kids on summer vacation.  I remember the excitement of hearing the ice cream truck coming and tearing across my front lawn into the house to ask my mother and father for a dollar to buy any one of my favorite ice cream treats - the pink panther ice cream bar with the bubblegum eyes, an orange sherbet push up, a red white and blue rocket popsicle…just to name a few.  But I can honestly say I never once thought about who I was buying that treat from! 

One of our neighboring counties is though - just in time to kick off the summer season.  While one could argue that conducting background checks on these drivers should have always been mandatory, it’s better late than never.  Here’s hoping other communities follow suit!

Summit County officials push for ice cream truck driver screenings

AKRON, Ohio – Summit County officials are considering tougher restrictions on ice cream truck drivers.

“It’s been brought to my attention, some of them could be selling drugs out of them or be sexual predators and is in close contact with your kids. To me, it just didn’t sit well,” said Summit County Council President Jerry Feeman.

Feeman is behind the legislation similar to city of Barberton, requiring drivers to get a background check before getting behind the wheel of an ice cream truck.

The drivers would also have to be fingerprinted by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. Under the proposal, people with an offense against a child, a sex offense, recent drug, assault or weapons conviction, or a homicide conviction wouldn’t be given a license.

“I’m not a big fan of legislating, legislating different things, but it just makes sense,” Feeman said.

He said the proposal would cover only ice cream truck drivers and not affect other groups that fall under the solicitor category, like Boy Scouts or high school groups, selling door to door for fundraising.

Bob Tanner has been an ice cream man in Ohio for 20 years. He’s now selling his ice cream truck to focus on his other food business, but he agrees something should be done.

“It would probably be a wise idea, especially no violent felonies,” Tanner said.

Feeman told ONN the legislation should be passed Monday.

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