Speed limits engineered to make a difference

Responsibility — the moral obligation to act correctly? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Without discussion of contextual semantics, the conclusion to those queries is yes. Shall we walk down the path of deflection, excuses, apologies or the reality of acceptance for a choice? A choice that embraces civic responsibility.

Laws are not made to abridge our rights, but instead to simply provide a foundation for what is permissible. It is our civic responsibility to adhere to these rules to live in a safe and ordered society. This brings me to the emphasis of our topic this week: speed limits.

The reflective white sign with black numbers represents the approved and reasonably prudent pace legally authorized for our commute. Adherence to these limits provides you a free pass. Planning by people with an appreciation for mathematical engineering takes into consideration most possible consequences when a roadway’s speed designation is posted.

I’d like to focus on Boulder City neighborhoods. The majority of our neighborhood streets have a 25 mph limit. Let’s think exponential. Using the mathematical calculation — trust me on this — driving 10 mph, including our reaction time, the total stopping distance is 27 feet; at 15 mph the stopping distance is 44 feet; at 20 mph the stopping distance is 63 feet; at 25 mph the stopping distance is 85 feet. I hope you see what I see. A 5 mph increase almost doubles your stopping distance. The average vehicle’s length is 16 feet.

Now for the whole picture.

A child jumps outs to get his or her prized ball or runs out to save Fluffy. Do we have enough time to stop? At 15 mph versus 25 mph we get a 41 foot difference or almost three car lengths. How much time did we save before the accident?

I hear all the time from folks, “Don’t you have anything better to do than stop me for speeding?” Please, slow down in the neighborhoods and choose to drive responsibly.

Let’s rock and roll. “Control, 269 I’ll be 10-8, first call please.”

Sunday, Nov. 10. A local drug user attempts to evade officers and drives away. After a short pursuit, realizing Boulder City is like Hotel California — you can check in, but you can’t leave — officers make contact. The three chemical-dependent occupants were dumbfounded when officers charged them with possession of a controlled substance, trafficking controlled substances, possessing drug paraphernalia, evading police, driving with a suspended driver’s license and let’s not forget, the reason for the stop — no license plate light.

Monday, Nov. 11. At 4 a.m. most people are sleeping. Some of us are at the gym. Others are reveling. That’s why officers were at Boulder Hills Condos. The caller reports music and loud talking for the past three hours. It’s time for bed. Officers arrive and the gracious host promises to keep it down. Remember, common courtesy goes a long way.

Tuesday, Nov. 12. A Jack-in-the-Box customer calls because a customer is in the men’s restroom, for 45 minutes, and he has a lady’s purse with him. First thought — must be a tourist. One problem, he walks out and leaves the purse. The manager looks in the purse for ID, but finds a syringe. Officers locate the subject down the street and issue him a notice to appear before the judge for possessing drug paraphernalia.

Wednesday, Nov. 13. Officers arrive at a home near Montera Lane to arrest a wanted subject on drug charges. After he refuses to open the door, officers legally force their way into the home and place the subject under arrest. In addition, a female guest with him is arrested for outstanding warrants. You may hide for a day or two, but we’ll come find you! Date night wasn’t that great.

Thursday, Nov. 14. A young driver gets off on the wrong foot. After being initially stopped for minor traffic violations, the driver gets an attitude. Well, after being placed under arrest, the juvenile calms down. Thank goodness dad arrives on scene and takes custody of the young lady. Driving privileges revoked?

Friday, Nov. 15. Officers are dispatched to Boulder Inn &Suites regarding a melee. Caller reports a female pulled a knife on a male subject, and then the male pointed a gun at the female. No knife was found, but the male acknowledged brandishing the firearm. Assault with a deadly weapon is a pretty serious crime. Clark County Detention Center always has room for one more.

Saturday, Nov. 16. Officers bump into a known criminal. After some interesting conversation with Mr. Burglary, officers gather enough information to link him to a recent home burglary. The report is being submitted to the Clark County district attorney for warrant submission.

OK, that was a busy workweek. Turkey day is almost here, so remember, please lock up and be safe. See you next week.

Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 10-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.