July 30, 2017 - 8:00 am
Driving is a personal journey.
Some people like to decorate their vehicles by dangling necklaces, graduation tassels, rosaries or other sentimental items from the rear-view mirror.
Other motorists might be more practical with an air freshener or a handicap placard.
Unfortunately, it’s illegal and potentially dangerous to hang any item that might block your view of the road.
In separate emails to the Road Warrior, Bill from Las Vegas and Barbara from Sun City Anthem wanted to know whether it was permissible — let alone, safe — to drive with objects hanging from the rear-view mirror.
“I tried driving with a handicap placard and believe me, it’s distracting,” Bill said.
It’s a misdemeanor to drive with any type of object obstructing the driver’s forward view, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Buratczuk said.
The maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Kevin Malone said.
“Sometimes we see an air freshener or necklace hanging from a rear-view mirror, which is not a huge deal, but we will usually educate the driver and have them remove the obstruction,” Buratczuk said.
But handicap placards are another matter. Not only are they large, but the placards clearly warn drivers to not leave them hanging while a vehicle is in motion.
“We do enforce obstructed view laws because it’s a matter of safety for other drivers on the road,” Buratczuk said.
Joe from Las Vegas wanted to know whether the county planned to install a four-way stop sign or a traffic signal at Tompkins Avenue and Tee Pee Lane on the west side of the valley, where a 26-year-old man died in a crash caused by a man who was allegedly driving under the influence in May.
A 47-year-old man was driving his Chevrolet Camaro east on Tompkins “at a high rate of speed” when he ran a stop sign at Tee Pee, Las Vegas police said in May. The Camaro hit the driver’s side of a Ford Fiesta driven by the 26-year-old man, who died at the scene.
“I travel this road every day and it has always been a dangerous intersection, mainly because there are blind corners on every side,” Joe said. “I always slow down for fear that someone will go through the stop sign.”
Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said that traffic engineers will study the intersection by fall.
Work on Eastern
Marlene from Las Vegas wanted to know what type of construction activity was happening along Eastern Avenue between Wigwam Avenue and Warm Springs road on the southeast side of the valley.
Crews are resurfacing the road, adding some pavement marking and widening the Eastern Avenue offramp from the eastbound 215 Beltway, Kulin said. Construction is expected to wrap up by the end of August.
Don from Las Vegas said the timing appears to be different for the traffic signal at Jones Boulevard and Washington Avenue.
“It used to be green for 10 to 15 seconds in each direction,” Don said. “Now,the signal lasts over a minute for east-west travel on Washington, and less than 10 seconds for north-south traffic on Jones. I don’t call that efficient.”
Traffic lights were places on a fixed time cycle as crews recently completed utility repairs at the intersection, Las Vegas city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said. The work is part of a larger pavement rehabilitation project for Washington, between Jones and Rainbow boulevards.
Regular signal phasing will resume when the project is completed.
Frank from Henderson wanted to know why road signs usually have white letters printed on a green field.
“It is very hard to read at night for me as a senior citizen,” Frank said. “Is it because a black background is not as cool as green?”
States and the federal government started standardizing road signs in the 1920s, selecting different sign colors and shapes to designate various items, said Tony Illia, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Green signs indicate guide messages including mile markers, upoming exits and the distance to the next town.
“As such, they appear in white letters on a green background for improved contrast and readability, especially at night,” Illia said. “Nevada further enhances readability by using diamond reflective sheeting and lighting.”
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Road work ahead
■ Northbound U.S. Highway 95 will be closed between Las Vegas and Martin Luther King boulevards from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday. Crews are building digital traffic signs.
■ Las Vegas Boulevard will be closed between U.S. Highway 95 and Bonanza Road from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday. Crews are building digital traffic signs.
■ The Las Vegas Boulevard and Casino Center Boulevard onramps to northbound U.S. Highway 95 will be closed from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday. Crews are building digital traffic signs.
■ Washington Avenue is restricted between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Rancho Drive through Tuesday. Crews are installing gas lines.
■ U.S. 95 will be restricted between Valley View Boulevard and Rancho Drive through the end of August. Crews are installing foundations for traffic management signs.
■ Martin Luther King Boulevard offramp from northbound U.S. Highway 95 will be closed through mid-September. Crews are rebuilding the ramp.
■ U.S. Highway 95 will be restricted between Rancho Road and just east of Interstate 15 through January 2018. Crews are building a new flyover ramp for high-occupancy vehicles as part of Project Neon.
■ Main Street is restricted between Bonneville Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard through May 2018. Crews are working on a storm drain.
■ Sections of Bonneville Avenue, Charleston Boulevard, Grand Central Parkway and Martin Luther King Boulevard will have closed or disrupted lanes surrounding the Spaghetti Bowl as crews work on Project Neon through July 2018.
■ Southbound U.S. Highway 95 will be restricted between Charleston Boulevard and Boulder Highway from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly from Monday to Wednesday. Crews are making bridge repairs.
■ Southbound U.S. Highway 95 will be restricted between Boulder Highway and Flamingo Road from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly from Wednesday to Friday. Crews are making bridge repairs.
■ Eastern Avenue will be restricted between Flamingo Road and Rochelle Avenue from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Aug. 11. Crews are doing sewer work.
■ Owens Avenue will be restricted between Lamb Boulevard and Lovebird Avenue through Aug. 10. Crews are doing sewer work.
■ Owens Avenue will be restricted between Nellis Boulevard and Lamont Street through Aug. 21. Crews are doing sewer work.
■ Eastern Avenue will be restricted between Flamingo Road and Tompkins Avenue through Sept. 29. Crews are doing sewer work.
■ The 13-mile svcenic route at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area will be repaved in one-mile increments through August.
■ Appaloosa Road will be restricted between Wagonwheel Drive and Rawhide Drive through late October. Crews are installing a storm drain.
■ Center Street will be restricted between Burkholder Boulevard and Lake Mead Parkway through June 2018. Crews are making various road improvements.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $ per gallon. It was $ in Nevada. The national average of $ is cents from a week ago, cents as a month ago and cents from a year ago.
Las Vegas Review-Journal