Feb 22, 2012
Kim Rivers

A pox on food truck ban

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Take out a map of Stockton. Find every school. Now, with a red marker, draw a circle around the school, creating a 1,500-foot buffer around each.

If it makes the city look like it has chicken pox, you can thank Assembly Democrat Bill Monning of Carmel.

It is Monning who on Valentine’s Day sent a love letter to owners of food trucks in the form of AB1678. The bill would ban mobile food and beverage vending within 1,500 feet of elementary and secondary schools during school hours.

“Mobile food vending poses a threat to student safety as well as student nutrition,” the office of the ever-vigilant Monning declared in a statement.

“Mobile vending near school campuses incentivizes students to leave school grounds, which increases students’ exposure to off-campus hazards such as heavily trafficked streets.”

Walking and bicycling to and from school also “incentivizes students to leave school grounds.” Would he ban that in the name of safety?

Monning is concerned that students eat more french fires than apples, and that’s a legitimate concern given the nation’s epidemic of obesity. But does he really think banning food trucks changes the equation? What about convenience stores? Or fast food retailers. Or grocery stores? Are they next?

The bill – given an outbreak of common sense – probably doesn’t have a snow cone’s chance in August. But we are talking about the Sacramento sausage factory, where stranger products have emerged.

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