Just what we needed, another politically correct law on the books. Thank you, Nassau County.
The latest legislative action concerns a law which requires drivers to come to a full stop in either direction while an ice cream truck is conducting sales on the street.
Just like school buses, the vending vehicles must be equipped with a swing arm containing the word "stop" and flashing signal lamps. The fine for a traffic violation will be up to $100 for a first violation, escalating to as much as $500 for a third.
There is a vast difference between being required to stop for school buses as opposed to street vendors. Children boarding or exiting school buses are doing just that; the task is accomplished quickly. However, the children (maybe a group of five or 10 or 20), trying to decide between chocolate or vanilla, while counting out their coins - who knows how long they might take? Will drivers be willing to wait patiently while the vendor conducts his business, at the expense of citizens' time? Further, one can plan trips around regularly scheduled buses, while there is no control of when and how many times an ice cream vendor will visit a street.
Unfortunately, by the time I found out about this law on April 3, it had already been unanimously passed by the Nassau County Legislature on March 25. County Executive Tom Suozzi approved the law on April 2.
As a mother, I too want to protect our children. However, I feel that the "slow" sign displayed by ice cream vendors was an adequate reminder for drivers to slow down and carefully creep past the ice cream trucks engaged in vending. Ironically, those of us who will obey this latest law are also those who were careful all along. The reckless drivers will undoubtedly disregard this law.
It is time for government to stop legislating every aspect of citizens' lives in the name of political correctness. Society's mindset that if we could just cover every eventuality, nothing bad would ever happen, needs to be amended.
Think about this the next time you hear that familiar jingle from the ice cream truck parked on your block.