Intersection Reconsideration

This week readers want to know what's going on with the Ann Road exit from the Las Vegas Beltway, whether radar detectors are legal in Nevada and whether anyone else has noticed the really irritating headlights on cars these days. And the Road Warrior shows why the only thing funnier than a wise-guy driver is a wise-guy driver who gets great gas mileage.

Lisa Cavanaugh asks: A new sign on the Las Vegas Beltway indicated Cheyenne Avenue, Lone Mountain Road and north Hualapai Way were coming up, but it didn't mention Ann Road. Right now there is a signal for traffic entering the Beltway from Ann Road. When the construction works its way down, will there be an onramp and offramp at Ann Road? If Ann Road is going to be closing, is there an anticipated date for it?

When that Beltway sign was originally erected there were no plans for an interchange at Ann Road, hence it doesn't appear on the sign, said Bobby Shelton, spokesman for the Clark County public works department.

"However, upon recent review, the county has decided to construct an interchange at the (Beltway)/Ann Road location, which is currently an intersection," Shelton said.

The project is currently under design and the public works department hopes to solicit bidders for the project next year, Shelton said.

But it all depends on whether funding for an interchange is available. If you are paying attention to the tax revenue shortfalls, that probably won't be very soon.

Shelton said no time line exists for the interchange to be constructed.

Ben asks: Are radar detectors legal in Nevada? And in what situations are they most effective?

Yes, they are legal in Nevada, said Capt. Richard Collins, head of the Metropolitan Police Department's traffic bureau.

In return, he asked that Road Warrior readers carefully check out how effective they are.

"Most of my officers have written speeding tickets to people who were using detectors," Collins said.

For obvious reasons, Collins did not want to talk about the methods his officers use to catch speeders.

But it's well known that police departments also use laser guns, which radar detectors do not pick up.

The traditional radar gun uses a radio signal to track speed. A radar detector tuned into that frequency can detect when a radar gun is in use.

Of course, there are other things you might pass that also use the same frequencies and cause radar detectors to beep, including sliding doors at grocery stores.

A laser gun uses a beam of light to track speed.

The radar detector is most effective when the radar gun spying on vehicles has been left on for a long period of time. But an officer only needs the radar gun to be on for a moment to track your speed.

So if you are speeding and a police officer comes up behind you and turns on his radar gun, by the time your detector goes off, the officer will have all the information he needs to write a ticket.

Of course there is a cheap and easy way to avoid getting caught speeding: Don't speed.

Don Hayworth writes: I have noticed that there are new, irritating head lights on many cars. These bright lights are somewhat blinding to those folks driving toward the offending car. Is there a law to restrict their usage? Can I take the license number and report them?

Those headlights are not new. The high-intensity discharge headlights, sometimes called HID or xenon headlights (so called because they use xenon gas), have been around for the last decade.

And while there have been studies showing that the headlights can be distracting to other drivers and in some cases cause headaches, they are not illegal.

A friend of mine who has the headlights on his car, tells me his night vision while driving has improved dramatically, and he feels the headlights illuminate the road far more than halogen headlights.

The Nevada Revised Statutes don't mention high-intensity discharge headlights or any other kind of light. State law simply states in NRS 484.545, "Every vehicle ... must display lighted lamps and illuminating devices (a) at any time from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise; (b) at any other time when, because of insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 1,000 feet ahead; and (c) when directed by an official traffic control device."

Hit 'n' Run: A reader named Dennis told me about this vanity license plate on a Toyota Prius: NVMYMPG. In case you can't figure it out: "Envy my miles per gallon."

According to Toyota, the Prius has a 11.9 gallon gas tank and gets 46 mpg combined city and highway driving.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at or (702) 387-2904.