I see that every day and the police see that every day as well, but so
far I haven’t seen anyone being stopped for violation of NRS 484B; and
I don’t see police cars obeying that law either — I know that all the
calls they make are not job-related.
People are getting too dependent on cell phones; no, I take that back;
people are depending on cell phones for everything. I can understand
those who were born with a cell phone attached to their ears, but
those born before the cell phone existed have no excuse because if
they had to make a telephone call, they would have stopped, gotten out
of the car, put a dime in a pay phone and made the call.
Now all they have to do is stop the car and reach for their phone in
their pocket and make the call; no more looking for a pay phone (they
don’t even exist anymore), no more getting out of the car on a rainy
day, a cold evening or on a 110-degree day, burning their fingers when
they pick up the handle of the pay phone.
I had two car phones in my car many years before cell phones existed;
I believe I am used to talking on the phone while driving, but I am
more concerned about those people who just learned how to drive and
never had a telephone line in their home and now they see themselves
with both at their disposal and they don’t know how to use either, so
if I have to make a phone call — I believe I wrote about this before
for a different reason — I pull over and shut the engine off, take the
key out of the ignition and make the call I need to make. If anyone
calls me when I am driving they get my voice mail and when I get to my
destination, I return those calls.
It is not that I am “Mr. Law-abiding citizen” even if normally I don’t
have the tendency to break the law; when I use my brother’s car, if he
forgets to take his handicap sign out of the windshield, I take it out
because it is not my sign, and on the sign it clearly states that the
sign is not to be visible while driving, or something to that effect.
Today, even children carry a cell phone. I remember when in the eyes
of the almighty police anyone carrying a beeper (remember beepers?)
was a drug dealer or doing something shady; but people think that
using a cell phone is a symbol of importance. Everyone wants to be
important and some people want to be doubly important and so they
carry two cell phones.
The other day I saw a man on line at a local bank telling the teller
to hold for a minute while he finishes talking on the cell phone all
the while the line at that bank was getting longer.
Another man was carrying on a very loud conversation over the cell
phone, so loud that everyone at the bank was privy to his personal
life, his “money in several banks” and his “Casanova” behavior; some
people were enjoying the conversation, others were laughing, and I was
disgusted to see how insensitive and stupid some people are.
I am not that close to anyone that is very important, but I have never
seen any of those really important people using their cell phones
Steve Sisolak, Chairman of the County Commission, has been in my
office for some time and never used his cell phone; in fact, I don’t
know if he had his cell phone with him or not.
I have been out to lunch with Mayor Oscar Goodman a couple of times
and he never answered his cell phone during lunch; neither did
Commissioner Weekly nor City Councilman Bob Beer (our lunch lasted two
hours) — and I think those are very important people.
I have never seen casino mogul and one of the richest men in the
world, Sheldon Addelson, with a cell phone in his ear; neither did I
see Steve Wynn on a cell phone when he used to own four of the top
luxury casinos in Las Vegas.
Only people that are not really important, people that pretend to be
somebody, are the people that we see answering their cell phone or
texting in the middle of Mass or those that have to leave the
courtroom several times to answer their cell phone.
Those who walk the parking lot of the 99¢ store or look for their car
at the Wal-Mart parking lot while talking on the cell phone, or keep a
loud and long conversation going while riding a city bus, obviously
show that they are not that important.
You know what else is irritating? Seeing teenagers jay-walking in
front of Clark High School, or any other school for that matter, with
a cell phone glued to their ears and looking at drivers with a mean
face for interrupting their phone call with a boyfriend or two, like
asking “How dare you interfere with my breaking the law by jay-walking
while I am talking on my cell phone? I am a teenager! You can’t do
anything to me! Go to hell or I will scream and accuse you of anything
because I am underage.”
These “very important” people should start learning to leave their
cell phone in the car while they go to church, to court, or to lunch
for that matter, because if you want to look important you have to act
important and important people are not so rude as to talk on the phone
while talking to someone else in person.
Police officers should start cracking down on cell phone violators and
stop using their own personal cell phone to keep track of their wife,
girlfriend or boyfriend. Just because they are driving a black and
white and carrying a badge and a gun does not exempt them from obeying
and following the same law they are supposed to be enforcing.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
* * * * *
Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column
appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him
at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at (702) 699-8111.