On Tuesday, the Review-Journal reported the results of a Safety Summit held in Las Vegas by the Nevada Department of Transportation in an effort to reduce traffic deaths by 50 percent by 2030 (“Lawmakers eye possible traffic regulation changes”). That is 14 years from now.
I checked the NDOT traffic fatality statistics online. There are more than 320 traffic fatalities a year here in Nevada, on average. In 14 more years, if there is no reduction, more than 4,000 more men, women and children will be slaughtered on Nevada streets and highways.
Let us take a look back over the past four years at two of the sporadic efforts that local police have put into place to reduce auto-pedestrian fatalities:
— Around Thanksgiving of 2013, Metro police officers dressed in turkey suits and stood at Charleston Boulevard and Eastern Avenue. They wrote more than 1,000 tickets at that intersection.
— The following Valentine’s Day, they dressed as hearts or Cupids. I am not sure on what intersection this took place. Metro officers wrote more than 1,000 tickets that time, too.
I feel this ridiculousness is a slap in the face to families who have lost loved ones to pedestrian-related accidents. Why not play “ring-around-the-rosie”?
We do not need any more meetings by bureaucrats to dream up traffic-death reduction efforts. We need our traffic laws enforced. We need them enforced by police officers who look like authority figures, in proper uniform, properly equipped, writing tickets.
We can not afford 4,000 more fatalities before we do something.
I often said that two cats were enough until I saw a big ad in Sunday’s May 15 Review-Journal from KiSS For Homeless Animals, a small shelter run by two wonderful women.
The ad sought a home for Silver Daddy, a 4-year-old male who was found abandoned near the Silverton Casino — hence his name. He had been attacked by other cats and generally been through hell and back. The staff at Silverton would feed him and they eventually called KiSS.
To make a long story short, I called and adopted him. He’s been getting used to my house and other cats. Aimee and Kim sent me home with him, his toys, a cat carrier and his special food. They kept him at their office until they found a suitable home.
The fact that they would pay for a big ad to help one poor, abused kitty speaks volumes. You don’t have to guess what my new favorite charity is.
I join Clyde Dinkins (Tuesday letter to the editor) in encouraging every resident to support Sheriff Joe Lombardo and the brave officers of Metro in their efforts to fight crime and serve the community. I also agree with Mr. Dinkins that FBI Director James Comey’s comment that the rise in Las Vegas homicides might be due to “de-policing” is not quite accurate.
The real issue is that we need additional police officers to cover such a big and growing community.
As a long-time resident of Las Vegas, and a former security supervisor of a resort hotel, I have witnessed how our courageous police officers put their lives on the line to ensure that residents and tourists are safe and secure.
With the crime rate increasing in our community, this is the right time for residents to support the initiative to add more police officers.