So where does this idea that we need to have a specific ban on cell phone usage come from? Look no further than the Mayor's office. The cell phone ban was introduced by West Side Councilor Ken Sanchez. It was supported in council by Police Chief Ray Schultz. Councilor Sanchez is closely associated with Mayor Marty, having served as his campaign treasurer before being encouraged to run against former councilor Miguel Gomez. Ray Schultz in essence serves at the pleasure of the Mayor, ergo this ordinance was supported by the administration from the very beginning.
The claim that signing the ordinance was "a very difficult decision for him," (ABQ Journal - Subscription Required) made by Councilor Sanchez appear to be disingenuous at best. You can be sure that Marty was on-board before Chief Schultz appeared before the Council on February 5th. Meanwhile, rank and file officers adamantly insist that the cell phone ban will never be enforced, a reality that Schultz was forced to admit last Thursday.
"Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said he doubts the cell phone law will be used often as the primary reason a motorist is pulled over." (ABQ Journal - Sucription Required)So we have established that Marty was in all likelyhood, in on this from the beginning and that officers not only do not want to enforce the cell phone ban, but will not be using a cell phone violation as a primary reason to pull someone over. If this is indeed about erring "on the side of public safety," (ABQ Journal - Subscription Required) as Mayor Marty contends why is his Police Chief admitting that they're not going to enforce it? The answer to that question look to the 5-4 vote in council.