Six months before Ronald Reagan became President, his pal Ed Meese, the future attorney general, and his pal Bill Casey, the future CIA director, were caught jaywalking near Reagan campaign headquarters here. Meese ignored his ticket; Casey ignored his. Years later, Meese had to pony up the $10 ticket cost and $120.50 in penalties on top of that. And Casey . . . well, Casey is dead. Nannygate, Jaywalkgate-the big ones all trip themselves up in the end.
Bad things happen to people who walk in L.A. In 1989, when New York City issued 25 jaywalking tickets, L.A. distributed 132,996 pedestrian-related citations.
The first ticket I ever got here was pedestrian-related. On Day One of my life in L.A., I stopped my Corvair at a crosswalk painted across a four-lane street. But I did not wait until the pedestrian crossed the median, plus the other two lanes of the street. You never know, said the cop as he wrote me up. Guy could change his mind, turn around and go back.