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There's law, there's order, and there's driving in Las Vegas


Today’s theme is enforcement. As in force. As in your government is going to force you to do, or not to do, certain things.

Don’t get all ranty on me, Congressman Paul. This is the purpose of government. Without it, we really would be living in Road Warrior times. The Mad Max version. Anarchy and whatnot. No one wants that. It’s way too hot here for all that leather.

Marge, for example, wouldn’t mind seeing a little government force used on her daily commute along Interstate 15.

She wrote in with a complaint I would be making myself if I knew a guy.

“I drive the 15 daily and my question is, Why did they bother to paint double lines for the go through lanes when most people cross them????”

She’s talking about those express lanes that run along the left-hand side between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road. They’re meant for traffic that isn’t going to change lanes.

Lots of people either: 1. Don’t get it or 2. Don’t care.

But they should. The cops were lenient on this at first because the concept was new. No more.

“Now that the lanes have been in effect for some time now, and educational information has been broadcast to the motoring public, law enforcement will be enforcing this violation,” Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Loy Hixson said in an email response to my question.

So don’t cross the double white line. It could get you a ticket worth $190.

Sometimes the rules aren’t so simple. Sometimes you can see the reason for them, but they’re worth breaking anyway.

Take Jennifer, who wrote in with this problem. “I was recently told that my old car was not worth repairing. If I want to keep it on my private property in a carport (no HOA involved), do I need to register it?”

There is no state law against keeping an unregistered car on your property, according to Kevin Malone, a spokesman for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

But here’s the big but: code enforcement.

What’s that? These are the local rules that say you can’t turn your front yard into a swap meet or invite your cousin Eddie over to live in his motor home while it’s parked in front of your house, disgorging effluent into the gutter.

The rules differ slightly for every local jurisdiction, but they’re similar enough that we can generalize: An unregistered vehicle is OK, but an inoperable vehicle is not.

In the city of Las Vegas, you will get 60 days to get rid of a car that won’t operate or get it working if the city receives a complaint.

In unincorporated Clark County, the code says simply that you can’t have an inoperative vehicle on the property.

North Las Vegas is similar. It just doesn’t allow inoperable vehicles on residential property.

In Henderson, it depends on the zoning. In the rural areas, four or six inoperable vehicles are allowed on the property, depending on how rural it is. It’s two for the rest of the residential areas, if the car is behind a fenced area in the back or side yard.

My advice? Put the car under the carport anyway. Keep it free of cobwebs and tumbleweed. Wash it every now and then.

So long as you don’t anger your neighbors and entice them to call in a complaint to the authorities, no one will notice.

What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll get cited and you can blame me.

Take that, long arm of the law.

This next reader wrote in a long time ago, back when the last guy was writing the Road Warrior column. I don’t have the reader’s name anywhere. But I do have the question.

Like Marge, this reader wanted people to start following the dang rules.

He noted that there was a yield sign on the exit from southbound I-15 onto westbound Flamingo Road that should probably be moved.

No one seemed to be paying attention to it.

“The worst offenders of not yielding are the cabdrivers,” the reader wrote. “I’ve had several come speeding up and cutting me off at the bridge.”

Your problem has been solved, dear anonymous reader.

“Our traffic safety folks modified the intersection of the I-15 southbound off-ramp and Flamingo Road westbound on March 12,” Damon Hodge, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation, wrote in an email.

Turns out, instead of moving the yield sign, they yanked it out completely and repainted the pavement.

The configuration is now what’s called an acceleration lane, which allows traffic exiting the freeway to merge pretty easily with the cars already on Flamingo.

This is not a perfect solution. Some drivers will stop, hesitate, wait for an opening long enough to fit a big rig into. Some will use the extra space to dart ahead and cut everyone else off.

But it’s better than a yield sign no one paid attention to because they didn’t see it. At least now, with easily understood lines on the pavement, everyone’s aware of the rules.

Got a transportation question, comment or gripe? Ship it off to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter @RJroadwarrior.