I have seen women with three kids and a bunch of grocery bags risking their own lives and ruining the day or even the lives of unsuspecting drivers who are faced with the mental torment of not only ending someone’s life, but having to then deal with the consequences and legal hassles of the aftermath of the tragedy.
Boulder Highway is a favorite Las Vegas street for jaywalkers to cause vehicles to have to go into some kind of Evil Knievel act to try to avoid life destruction, but often not achieving their end when they unexpectedly end a jaywalker’s life; unfortunately, jaywalkers may not have a TV or radio at home to learn of the widespread danger they are in when they try one of those illegal maneuvers just to save a few seconds.
The other day right on Charleston Boulevard a man was in the process of jaywalking right in front of my car. I put my window down and asked him if he knew me; he said he did not know me and I surprised the man with my second question —”then why are you trying to ruin my life by crossing the street in the middle of the block?” — and he just responded by telling me to keep driving and mind my own business (as if hurting him or even accidentally killing him because of his own foolish defiance of the law is not my business).
Lucky for that man the traffic light at the corner changed to green and I had to keep going or I would have been the one getting a ticket for obstructing traffic — or even worse, getting another dent in my beautiful truck that already has more dents than I have wrinkles in my face.
While I am in the process of writing this column at five in the morning with my television set on, I heard the sweet voice of Demetria Obilor reporting that a pedestrian caused an accident after colliding with a city bus and died; with all due respect for the death of that person, how stupid can anyone be to try to outmaneuver one of those oversized city buses, which will always win.
I assume that in this case there would have been more than just the one foolish dead person and the bus driver who were affected. Maybe some of those passengers on the bus were on their way to work, and on top of suffering the already fantastic bus service the citizens of this overcrowded and overpriced beautiful city rivalling a suburb of Los Angeles have to endure, they also had to endure waiting for the police to arrive so they could answer questions or give witness, to say nothing of waiting for another available and uncrowded bus to come by, causing them to be very late to work, through no fault of their own, and maybe even losing the job that they so desperately need to support the family.
We’ve probably all lived through the sad experience of calling the non-emergency police dispatcher only to be kept waiting — with the telephone glued to our ears — for the operator to answer with their “due to the unexpected high volume of calls” recording that may take an hour… or two to get a live person. I am still waiting for a Metro operator to answer my call from last year while holding on “due to the unexpected high volume of calls.” I don’t think there are that many people in the whole call area of Las Vegas!
I know that it will be a frozen day in hell before Sheriff Joe Lombardo will listen to me and or any suggestion I may have to offer to help stop the jaywalking epidemic, but I am going to offer it nevertheless: ARREST THOSE S.O.B. BASTARDS and let them go through the routine process in the jail and later wait fourteen hours to be released — yes, fourteen hours or even longer. That may leave an impression of why not to jaywalk, if saving their own life is not a big enough incentive!
Yeah, I know it is a hassle for the police officer on the beat: too much work, not enough officers, and it may force Sheriff Lombardo to go back to his friend, County Commissioner Chairman Steve Sisolak, for more money for more officers for the third time, but it will very likely end the jaywalking nightmare.
In the meantime, while we all sit and wait with Sheriff Lombardo for the busy county commissioner board to make up its mind about the money for more police officers — most likely after they make up their mind about who is going to keep track of the tax money from the new stadium and deciding what is more politically correct for us: making our otherwise peaceful county “safer” by creating a sanctuary county, or losing the federal money after teasing the feds with their false comment, “no, we are not a sanctuary” — jail personnel are not complying with the law.
Of course this is a county, a city, and perhaps a state of wait and see before you choose, so the police officers have the choice of either wasting their time with paperwork when taking these lawbreakers to jail alive, or doing it later, after they or some other innocent party is dead and someone’s life is ruined.
Soon enough someone is going to be wondering where the profit from all those dead jaywalker bodies goes.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.