Gasoline price changes out of control

This week, readers want to know if it is legal for gasoline stations to change their prices more than once a day, if vehicles registered in Nevada must display two license plates (one in the front and one in the rear), and why the pavement on U.S. Highway 95 tilts toward the median near Cheyenne Avenue.

Gene Levin asks: I see gasoline prices changing two times a day. How can that be justified when they only get gasoline delivered once a day? It seems like price gouging.

Nevada has no state law regulating when or how often a gasoline station can change the price of petrol, said Steve Grabski, administrator for the state Division of Measurements, which oversees such things.

"As far as I know, we don't restrict pricing of gasoline," he said.

Some states do have such laws, including New Jersey. A recent Associated Press story noted that a gasoline station in Somerset County, N.J., was fined $800 and forced to close for 20 days after investigators discovered the price of petrol was changing more than once in a 24-hour period.

The $800 fine probably isn't a big deal for a gasoline station, but the closing for 20 days has got to hurt the wallet.

Harvey Loehr asks: I've noticed that about 30 percent of the cars and trucks in this area have no front license plate. But I always thought that Nevada law stated that vehicles must have two license plates. In fact, when I moved to Nevada from Arizona four years ago, I paid to have a license plate holder installed on the front of my car because of this law.

Four years ago, you would have been right to do so. But laws change. And this one did, Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Tom Jacobs told me.

According to Nevada Revised Statute 482.275, section 2 states, "If the motor vehicle was not manufactured to include a bracket, device or other contrivance to display and secure a front license plate, and if the manufacturer of the motor vehicle provided no other means or method by which a front license plate may be displayed upon and secured to the motor vehicle: (a) one license plate must be attached to the motor vehicle in the rear; and (b) the other license plate may, at the option of the owner of the vehicle, be attached to the motor vehicle in the front."

The state Legislature decided to change the law because more and more car manufacturers were building vehicles without a place for the front license plate, Jacobs said.

So, if your vehicle doesn't have a place for a front plate, you are absolved of having to put one on your vehicle.

T. and J. write: My husband and I have been trying to figure out why the road tilts toward the center on northbound and southbound U.S. 95 just north of Cheyenne. If it is for draining, we do not see any drainage in the center of the road. As far as we can tell this is the only place on U.S. 95 that tilts. Why?

Your instincts were right on. U.S. 95 tilts toward center for drainage purposes and to help control flash floods.

Flood control is a major issue along U.S. 95 from Lake Mead Boulevard to Craig Road, said Bob McKenzie of the Nevada Department of Transportation. It was part of the planning process when U.S. 95 was widened.

You may not be able to see them, but there are drainage pipes along the center, McKenzie assured.

On southbound U.S. 95 in that area, you'll also notice on the side of the road a lot of ditches and gullies. That is also used for flood control, McKenzie said.

Hit n' Run

Have a Happy Fourth of July everyone! And remember, as of July 1 in California, you cannot talk on your cell phone while driving a vehicle unless you have a hands-free device.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Francis McCabe at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@review Please include your phone number.